Andrew Simpson's funeral held at Sherborne Abbey

Andrew Simpson
Image caption Andrew "Bart" Simpson died when a yacht capsized in San Francisco Bay
The funeral procession on Half Moon Street in Sherborne
Image caption His funeral service was preceded by a procession through Sherborne, with townspeople pausing to pay their respects
Sir Ben Ainslie
Image caption Four-time Olympic sailing champion Sir Ben Ainslie was among the pallbearers
Andrew Simpson's coffin being carried into Sherborne Abbey
Image caption Sherborne Abbey's flag was flown at half mast as a mark of respect for Simpson, who was one of an 11-man crew on board the ill-fated catamaran
Iain Percy (centre) and Sir Ben Ainslie
Image caption Iain Percy (centre) and Ainslie gave readings during the service, which was followed by a reception at Sherborne Castle
Bunting for Andrew Simpson's funeral
Image caption Bunting lined many of Sherborne's streets for the funeral, including Digby Road and Half Moon Street, with shop-owners also displaying union jacks

Hundreds of people have attended the funeral of Olympic sailing champion Andrew Simpson in his hometown.

The service at Sherborne Abbey, Dorset, was followed by a reception at the town's castle.

The 36-year-old 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medallist died when his catamaran flipped over during training for the America's Cup in San Francisco Bay.

Many leading figures from the world of sailing, including Star class partner Iain Percy, attended the funeral.

Percy, with whom Simpson won silver at London 2012, and four-time Olympic sailing champion Sir Ben Ainslie were among the pallbearers.

'Always had a smile'

Speaking before the service, Ainslie said: "We were all devastated at Andrew's loss.

"The fact that so many people from all over the world have come here speaks volumes for the kind of person that Andrew was.

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Media captionOlympic champion Ben Ainslie spoke to the media on behalf of Mr Simpson's family and friends.

"He always had a smile on his face and that is the way we will always remember him."

Among the music at the service was the choir's rendition of We Are Sailing and the Elbow song One Day Like This.

Nicknamed Bart, Simpson lived in Sherborne with his wife and two children.

He was one of 11 people on board the Artemis Racing AC72 catamaran when he became trapped underneath it on 9 May.

America's Cup organisers confirmed this year's San Francisco event would go ahead as planned in September.

An independent safety review has been commissioned alongside a police inquiry.

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