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04 Jan 2012

Just call him Jimmy—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

James Spithill keeping low on his A-Cat  © .

If you're a Cup fan, it's impossible not to know the name James Spithill, the Aussie-born helmsman for Oracle Racing. The guy is a legend: At 19 he was the youngest helmsman to campaign for the Cup, and at 30 he was the youngest driver to win the AC, aboard BMW/Oracle's 90-foot, wingsail-powered trimaran. Plus, he was a driver in the storm-swept 1998 Sydney-Hobart Race, giving him serious offshore credentials, and he has excelled at every class in which he has competed.

'My mates call me Jimmy—it's kind of a nickname,' says Spithill who admits a fighting instinct a mile wide. 'Pretty early on I took up boxing,' he explains. 'When you go around with red hair, you don't have a choice. Either you're a punching bag, or you say, ‘Enough is enough.' Learn more about Spithill's background and personality in Paul Olivia's profile piece on 'Jimmy', inside this issue.

James Spithill heads for clearing mark  .. ©

Also, check out 'Jimmy's' involvement with A-Class catamarans, as well as the update from the Australian A-Class Championships, which are currently taking place, and where Spithill is currently racing. Spithill talks at length about the solo cats and the Made for Television nature of the AC products.

Jules Verne Trophy - Banque Populaire V  Brian Thompson

Speaking of fast multihulls, Loick Peyron and his Banque Populaire V crewmates are tracking beautifully to establish an impressively quick new Jules Verne Trophy time for the fastest nonstop circumnavigation. 'We are delighted with our current status and keeping everything crossed that we can enter the record books later this week,' reported crewmember Brian Thompson, who is now completing his fourth non-stop 'lap'. 'Believe me, the exhilaration of being onboard Banque Populaire V is like nothing else I have experienced!' Get the full report inside, and stay tuned to the site as Banque Populaire V approaches her finishing line.

And speaking of making a ‘lap', Team Sanya is close to having their rig refitted with new standing rigging, after an unfortunate breakage cased them to stop racing on December 19 during the second leg of the 2011/2012 Volvo Ocean Race. Once the new rigging has been tuned and tested, the team will resume racing. 'We're looking forward to seeing the good ship Sanya set off from Fort Dauphin in a few days and getting racing again,' said Frano Tregaskis, Team Sanya's rigger. 'Never a dull moment in this campaign, that's for sure.' Get the full scoop from Team Sanya, as well as other VOR happenings and news, in this issue.

optiWorlds12 capizzano 0043 - 2011 Optimist Worlds Napier, Day 2  Matías Capizzano/Optiworlds

Also inside, get the latest reports from the Clipper Around the World Race, the Global Ocean Race, and the Opti Worlds. And finally, be sure to check out AC publicist Peter Rusch's look astern at four key moments during last year's America's Cup World Series events. Enjoy.

May the four winds blow you safely home,


David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor


Just call him Jimmy—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor,
If you're a Cup fan, it's impossible not to know the name James Spithill, the Aussie-born helmsman for Oracle Racing. The guy is a legend: At 19 he was the youngest helmsman to campaign for the Cup, and at 30 he was the youngest driver to win the AC, aboard BMW-Oracle's 90-foot, wingsail-powered trimaran. He was a driver in the storm-swept 1998 Sydney-Hobart Race,he has serious offshore cred.... [more]
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James Spithill sailing A-Cats in Australia talks Made for TV sailing
A Class Catamaran Australian Championships,
James Spithill was one of the first AC sailors to get into the A-Cats. 'Trapezing downwind is what you now do in this class and yesterday I had four swims trying to figure it out. Tom (Slingsby) had five swims. JK (John Kostecki) didn't even attempt it and Dirk (de Rider) won't attempt it. It's just fun.'... [more]
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27th annual Rose Bowl Regatta preview
Rich Roberts,
Roger Williams University is an emerging collegiate power from Bristol, Rhode Island and Point Loma of San Diego is a perennial high school powerhouse - from the 7-8 January, they will lead their respective teams into the 27th annual Rose Bowl Regatta. The event, based at the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, is hosted by the USC Sailing Team and organized by the US Sailing Center of Long Beach.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Fireworks light up Abu Dhabi
Volvo Ocean Race,
The Volvo Ocean Race homecoming in Abu Dhabi was packed with family, fireworks, and fans which helped to take the sting out of coming in fifth place for the local Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing in the second stage of Leg 2. Skipper Ian Walker said it was disappointing to have been at the back of the fleet while Groupama sailing team led the charge from the Sharjah coast to the Destination Village.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Puma Ocean Racing third overall
Lisa Ramsperger,
Volvo Ocean Race team Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg crossed the second stage of the leg two finish line, from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi, in fourth position on Wednesday 4th January at 12:28.38 UTC/16:28.38 local time, collecting three points for 19 points and third place overall in the leg.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Telefónica secures overall lead
Volvo Ocean Race,
Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 - Team Telefónica secured overall victory in leg two with a strong second place but there was joy too for Groupama sailing team on Wednesday as they notched their first win, snatching top spot ahead of their rivals in the dying moments of the sprint into Abu Dhabi.... [more]
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A-Cat Australians - Flying at the front
John Cootes Furniture A-Cat Championships Media,
Race 3 of the 2012 John Cootes Furniture A Class Australian Championships started in a light, seven knot easterly after two general recalls, under a black flag. Tom Slingsby was first to the top mark, ahead of James Spithill, Nathan Outteridge, Bob Baier then Darren Bundock and Brad Collett.... [more]
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Optimist Worlds: Fine weather and light winds for first day of Teams
Nathalie van Dort,
After three days of individual racing the focus changed at the OptiWorlds with 40 national teams sailing in warm sun and light airs, on the first day of team racing. 'Each team has four sailors so some countries were excluded from today's racing' according to Pete Dawson Chairman of OptiWorldsNZ.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Team Sanya return to water with must-have new rig
Volvo Ocean Race,
The Volvo Ocean Race crew of Team Sanya are expecting to return to the water in 48 hours in order to conduct a sea trial of their new rigging on the tail end of a two week global effort to replace damaged fittings that forced the crew to suspend racing in Stage 1 of Leg 2.... [more]
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America's Cup: 'My mates call me Jimmy' - James Spithill profile
Paul Olivia,
He quietly, politely introduces himself as James Spithill. At 19, he was the youngest helmsman ever in an America's Cup campaign. At 30, the youngest helmsman to win the Cup. Now at 32, he is the man on whom software magnate Larry Ellison, the City of San Francisco and the US sailing community have pinned their hopes of keeping the Cup in North America.... [more]
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America's Cup: Looking back at four key moments in 2011 + Video
Peter Rusch,
America's Cup publicist, Peter Rusch looks at four key moments from his perspective of the 2011 America's Cup World Series. The year 2011 was an incredible one for fans of the America's Cup. The revolution arrived - fast cats, wings, extreme athletics, and short intense races where the action never seemed to stop.... [more]
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A-Cat King starts Australian Championships with two bullets
Australian A Class Championships media,
Postcard conditions today on Lake Macquarie, NSW for the start of the 2012 John Cootes Furniture Australian A Class Championships. ‘The conditions were straight out of the A-Cat brochure. Just watching Glenn motoring downwind is worth the event entry price!' Ian Johnson, A Class President.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Excitement builds in Abu Dhabi
Vovlo Ocean Race,
Excitement is building in Abu Dhabi ahead of the Leg 2, Stage 2 finish, with the boats due in at the city's waterfront on Wednesday afternoon January 4. The main five-boat fleet will restart racing with a 98 nautical mile sprint.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean race: Life at the extreme - a look back at 2011
Volvo Ocean Race,
Only two months into the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 and already there has been an abundance of drama, incredible racing and both men and boats pushed to the absolute limit. Since the race started in Alicante on November 5 there have been two dismastings, one serious hull breach, two injured crewmen, three leg retirements, countless lead changes and some of the closest racing ever seen in the even... [more]
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Jule Verne Trophy: Banque Populaire drops 300nm off record pace
Brian Thompson,
On Day 41, of her non stop circumnavigation attempt, the maxi trimaran, Banque Populaire, has dropped from being 1400nm ahead of the record time to being 1100nm ahead of Groupama's mark, at the same points in time after the start of the dash around the planet. English crew member, Brian Thompson updates on the last three day's sailing... [more]
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Global Ocean Race Leg 2 - Campagne de France cross finish in third
Oliver Dewar,
Global Ocean Race (GOR) duo Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron, onboard Class40 Campagne de France, crossed the leg two finish line in Wellington, New Zealand, in third place at 09:49 on Monday local time (20:40 GMT 01/01/12) after 33 days 10 hours 40 minutes and 15 seconds of racing through the Indian Ocean from Cape Town.... [more]
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Orange Bowl Regatta ends with a blizzard
Connie Bischoff,
South Florida may not have snowstorms but, the white sails on Biscayne Bay looked like a blizzard of boats. Today was the final day of racing for Miami's 2011 Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta. There were 559 sailors completing four days of sunshine, sailing, swimming in the pool and social activities.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race overall
Alex Bocage,
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2011 was notable for an unexpected winner of the coveted line honours trophy, a worthy overall winner and a slow passage home for the smaller boats. The Boxing Day start of the 628 mile race south to Hobart was spectacular, with the 88-strong international fleet setting off from the heart of Sydney Harbour, with its iconic bridge and Opera House as a backdrop.... [more]
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America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ/Luna Rossa deal gets a tick from Jury
Richard Gladwell,
The International Jury has answered the first of a two stage challenge to the joint development and training agreement between the two America's Cup teams, Emirates Team New Zealand and the new Italian Challenger Luna Rossa.... [more]
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America's Cup: Ian Taylor recognised for VirtualEye development
Sail-World,
The lion behind the development of America's Cup graphics technology has been made a Companion of The New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in the New Zealand New Years Honours, announced yesterday. What is now known as VirtualEye was initially created by three people with no sailing experience... [more]
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