Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Polarised and non-polarised readers for sailors

America’s Cup World Series – Interview with Jimmy Spithill

by Tim Jeffery on 5 Apr 2012
Jimmy Spithill, ORACLE Racing - San Diego - Fleet racing for seeding - America’s Cup World Series 2012 OracleTeam USA© www.oracleracing.com
America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) second regatta starts on 11th April on the waters off Naples, Italy. The upcoming ACWS Naples invokes fond memories for Jimmy Spithill. The Oracle Racing skipper was helmsman of the Luna Rossa Challenge 2007, which advanced to the Louis Vuitton Cup final. Spithill says he’s looking forward to seeing the fans’ passion from the other side.

What are you expecting in Naples, from the crowds and the racing?
I’ve visited elsewhere in Italy and it’s one of my favorite countries. That’s probably because of my past being involved with Luna Rossa. I got to learn the country and people and fell in love with it all.

I’m excited about visiting Naples. Wherever I’ve gone in Italy it’s been a great experience, you learn a different area and culture. In fact, it’ll be the first time our two crews will be in Naples.

I think it’ll be huge. The Italian fans are some of the most passionate in the world. They’re die-hard fans and enjoy the competition.

I think there’ll be big crowds and people will enjoy the competition because it really is a new game and more exciting than what people have seen in past and I think the Italian fans will enjoy this new game. (Championship racing is scheduled Apr. 11-15, preceeded by practice racing.)

Do you think racing on the Sea of Naples is more difficult than other parts of Italy?
Any new venue has its challenges. But that’s another strong point about the AC45 catamaran. If we took the old monohulls to Naples, I guarantee you it would not be exciting. We can sail the AC45’s in a wide range of conditions, from 5 to 30 knots. There aren’t many boats that can sail in that wide a range and with great, exciting racing.

As a sailor and team, how do you approach new venues?
We’ll do some training, but at the end of the day it comes down to the final Sunday. The way this fleet is anyone is capable of winning. Really, it’s about trying to peak at the right time and getting it together on the final Sunday.

What would you say in an advertisement about the racing in Naples?
You’ll see the fastest boats with the best sailors in world and fantastic races. I know that the America’s Cup is big in Italy, but people are going to be surprised at the changes to the format of the event.

The changes are all for the better. The boats are so much better, from an athletic point of view boats are much more physical to sail and the races are much shorter. We’re looking at 20-minute races so it’ll be a lot more entertaining for viewers, whether they’re watching live or on TV or on the web. I really think the people of Naples will enjoy this racing and the advertisement is come down and check it out.

What do you think of the new Luna Rossa team?
I actually think those guys are up there as the favorites. They’re in their home country, they’re experienced, and they’ve got two helmsmen who have been incredibly successful in this type of racing so I’d be surprised if they weren’t at the top.
It’s fantastic to have Patrizio Bertelli back in the game. He’s a great guy, and the way he runs the team is done with a lot of style and class. It adds a lot to the event having a team like that involved.

Competitively I think these guys are going to very good, especially given their partnership with Team New Zealand. If you look specifically at the Naples event, and it sounds like they’ll have two boats, they’ve got two very talented teams out there. Mark Campbell-James (one of the team’s helmsmen) has been very successful on the X40 circuit and Chris Draper (the other team helmsman) has been very successful in AC45 previously with Team Oracle Racing Americas Cup website

Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
Pantaenius – Smooth sailing is more than a favourable weather forecast
Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia As Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia, we get to see why they continue to grow their happy crew of customers. Sitting down with Pantaenius Australia’s MD, Jamie MacPhail, you immediately get a sense that the smooth sailing is a direct result of both their unique product and the marketplace’s willingness to embrace the better mousetrap
Posted on 27 Apr
100 days to Rio, are there potholes and bumps ahead?
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for most crews.
Posted on 26 Apr
Is George Lucas a sailor?
He’s very famous for a lot of things, and justifiably so. One of them is Industrial Light and Magic He’s very famous for a lot of things, and justifiably so. One of them is Industrial Light and Magic, which has been instrumental in the making of many of the special effects that have made the digital world so impressive. Gone are the smears of Vaseline along the bottom edge of the clear filter to hide the trolley that was actually transporting Luke Skywalker’s Speeder, for instance.
Posted on 25 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Can World Sailing learn from dear old Oz?
Why just lay the drop sheets out and tape up the edges of the windows for a splash of paint Some time ago now, Sail-World proposed that ISAF had a really good opportunity at hand when it morphed into World Sailing (WS). Why just lay the drop sheets out and tape up the edges of the windows for a splash of paint, when you could bring out the jackhammers and do a proper reno??? A call was issued for 200,000 sets of goggles and earmuffs to be supplied and for the real work to be commenced.
Posted on 11 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Pantaenius - Worldwide SupportBarz Optics - Melanin LensesNaiad/Oracle Supplier