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Italian Team Mulling America's Cup Withdrawal

By PAUL ELIAS
|  Thursday, May 16, 2013  |  Updated 5:49 PM PDT
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Artemis Racing Team Trains on the Bay

© ACEA 2012/ Photo Gilles Marti

San Francisco (USA,CA), 34th America's Cup, America's Cup World Series San Francisco 2012 August, Match Racing Qualifier

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The owner of the Italian entry in the America's Cup sailing races will travel to San Francisco to decide whether to compete after the death last week of a sailor on another crew, the Italian team said Thursday.

Patrizio Bertelli, team principal of Luna Rossa Challenge 2013, intends to closely follow developments while making a decision, the team's announcement said. European media quoted Bertelli last week expressing concern about the safety of the high-tech yachts competing this summer in the 34th America's Cup.

Bertelli said then he would leave the decision about competing to the Luna Rossa team.

Practice runs in San Francisco Bay have been halted since the Artemis Racing boat capsized on May 9 and killed Andrew "Bart'' Simpson, who was trapped beneath the wreckage.

The Luna Rossa press office said Thursday that workers continued preparing the entry for the racing that starts in July.

Further details could be released in an announcement on Friday. None of the four teams in the race discussed dropping out during a meeting with organizers on Tuesday, said Tom Ehman, vice commodore of the San Francisco yacht club, host of the upcoming race.

Another meeting with the teams was scheduled for Friday, when resumption of sailing will be discussed, Ehman said.

Spokeswoman Jennifer McHugh said Artemis Racing has not dropped out of the race and was conducting a thorough review and analysis of the accident.

The Artemis team conducted a private memorial for Simpson on Thursday, with representatives of each team dropping a wreath into San Francisco Bay.

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