AC safety committee established

Six person panel of safety at sea experts to review the training and racing of AC72 yachts

Wednesday May 15th 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: United States

America’s Cup organisers have confirmed that this summer’s events remain on track, while a highly experienced panel of sailing and safety at sea experts has been appointed and charged with reviewing the training and racing of AC72 yachts in the 2013 America’s Cup.

The Review Committee will make its recommendations following the loss of Artemis Racing crew member Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson as the Swedish challenger's AC72 capsize during training on San Francisco Bay last Thursday.

Members of the Committee have strong backgrounds in the sport at its highest levels as well as involvement in other reviews where an incident at sea has claimed the life of a competitor.

Iain Murray, the Regatta Director, will chair and lead the Review Committee comprised of:

Iain Murray (AUS, Chair)
Sally Lindsay Honey (USA, Deputy Chair)
John Craig (USA)
Chuck Hawley (USA)
Vincent Lauriot-Prévost (FRA)
Jim Farmer QC (NZL)

In addition to his lengthy racing credentials, Iain Murray was a member of oneAustralia syndicate, whose ACC yacht broke in two and sank while racing the winning New Zealand yacht in the 1995 America's Cup. From 1995-2001 Murray was on the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

Sally Lindsay Honey (Mrs Stan Honey) is a member of US Sailing’s Safety-at-Sea Committee and was US Sailing’s Yachtswoman of the Year in 1973 and 1974. She chaired the US Sailing Independent Review Panel for the Low Speed Chase capsize during the 2012 Farallones Race when the five crew of the Sydney 38 died.

John Craig is PRO for the 34th America's Cup, board member of US Sailing, and has been the race manager at San Francisco's St. Francis Yacht Club for more than 10 years. He was also on the panel for the US Sailing Independent Review of the Low Speed Chase capsize.

Chuck Hawley has sailed more than 40,000 miles on vessels ranging from sleds,  to singlehanded sailboats, to the late Steve Fossett's maxi-catamaran PlayStation. As Chairman of US Sailing’s Safety-at-Sea Committee, Hawley has moderated more than 50 US Sailing Safety-at-Sea Seminars since Currently, he is the Vice President of Product Information at West Marine. Hawley was a contributing advisor for the review of the Low Speed Chase capsize.

Vincent Lauriot Prevost is one half of leading French racing multihull designers, VPLP.

New Zealander Jim Farmer is a Queen’s Counsel, whose field of practice covers all areas of commercial law and public law. He has in the last 15 years competed as a yachtsman, forming Georgia Racing, which has built five keel boats of 36-53ft LOA winning the Kenwood Cup in Hawaii, placing 4th in two Mumm 36 World Championships and placing second in the Corum Cup in Hong Kong and Hamilton Island in 2010 in Australia.

The US Coast Guard supports this approach and will assist as appropriate. Lt. Jon Lane, with 26 years in the Coast Guard and 10 years experience as a marine casualty investigator will serve as liaison, as will the San Francisco Police Department.

Tom Ehman, the Vice Commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club (the America’s Cup Trustee), said: “The America’s Cup will go ahead this summer. We will see the world’s best sailors racing at the highest level on one of the most iconic race tracks in sport.”

With regard to the Review, Ehman added: “The Committee brings immense experience and expertise to this Review. At a meeting in San Francisco this morning, the teams expressed unanimous support for this Committee and this process.”

The Review Committee will report as soon as possible, given that racing starts in seven weeks.


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