Artemis crew member labels AC72s yachts 'death traps'

"I hope like hell that whoever survives this thing and wins it changes the boat class to anything safer than these God-forsaken death traps."

That statement from a crew member - on the condition of anonymity for himself and the team - summed up the general reaction to the death of 36-year-old Artemis sailor Andrew Simpson when the hulls of his America's Cup team's training yacht snapped in relatively mild wind conditions on San Francisco Bay on Friday.

Members of all the teams competing in the America's Cup qualifying regatta have stayed silent, publicly at least, as they contemplate how to react to one of the biggest crises faced by the event in its 162-year history.

Privately, one reflected the view of many when he said, "I hope after all of this, the only place people see these yachts is in museums and pictures."

America's Cup organisers have yet to decide what happens next, but the series, scheduled to be contested against defending champion Oracle from July 7, is definitely in doubt.

Stephen Barclay, chief executive of the America's Cup Event Authority, said, "Nothing is off the table. We need to know what happened."

Already there is talk both the challenger series and America's Cup might be contested in scaled-down AC45s rather than the AC72s.

A meeting involving the organisers and all teams is scheduled for Wednesday (US time), where more will be revealed on how the event progresses.

For now, the Coastguard has impounded the boat and police are still involved.

Lawyers are understood to be circling.

A source with a team in San Francisco says the Artemis designers might be the first to need legal counsel: "Their arses will be on the line. I don't know how they can avoid it the way the boat just crumpled."

"Those boats (AC72s) are so finely tuned to factors like who can build the lightest mast. Something was always likely to be compromised in design," another team member said.

Another complicating issue is the mental state of Iain Percy, the sailing director of the Artemis team.

Percy had originally encouraged Simpson, the best man at his wedding, to take up a contract with the team, and speculation was rife he may abandon his role and return to England.

It all seems such a world away from the America's Cup the whole of Australia embraced when John Bertrand skippered Australia II to victory against Dennis Conner's Liberty in 1983, the first time the Americans had lost the trophy in 132 years.

Topics:  accident america's cup fatal sailing san francisco

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

OPINION: How my coastal paradise became a warzone

RACQ Capricorn Rescue Helicopter Service returned to Gladstone to refuel after it found a missing yacht washed up on rocks west of Middle Island this morning.

Life after dark in this beachside suburb is not what you'd expect

Higher booze prices 'best way to combat abuse'

Should taxes be raised further on alcoholic drinks?

Report examines best ways to combat alcohol and violence

8800 complaints about water, energy bills in Queensland

Maree Skellern from Tweed Heads Kindy Care showing the dramatic changes in the latest power bill.

More than $320,000 in billing adjustments

Local Partners

All aboard for reno, new menu at Little Boat Espresso

Like your fish cured in Hendricks Gin with candied bacon kransky? This cafe is adding a night menu, local craft beer and cocktails.

WATCH: NASA space station is live, see the view from above

In this picture taken from NASA's International Space Station from April 2015, the SpaceX Dragon is captured with the 57.7-foot-long Canadarm2 robotic arm before its installation to the Harmony module.

See the world from a new perspective as space station passes Rocky

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E12 - the finale

Georgia Love pictured in a scene from The Bachelorette finale.

GEORGIA chooses Lee and leaves Matty J heartbroken.

The Bachelorette finale: Georgia declares her love for Lee

Georgia Love with The Bachelorette winner Lee Elliott.

MATTY J left heartbroken in emotional grand final.

Buy your own brothel: Scarlet Harem for sale

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: The Coast's first brothel, Scarlet Harem at Kunda Park, is up for sale.

Coast brothel madam sells up

All aboard for reno, new menu at Little Boat Espresso

Owners of Marcoola café Little Boat Espresso plan to expand Little Boat Espresso to include late nights with a new liquor licence approved for next month.

Popular cafe undergoes renovations, adds night service

Tom Cruise credits success to Scientology

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise credits his success to Scientology

Hacksaw Ridge leads AACTA Awards nominations

Andrew Garfield and Teresa Palmer in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

MEL Gibson's wartime drama opens in cinemas next week.

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June