Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Melanin Lenses

America's Cup- The View From Spithill's Office

by Michelle Slade, Sailblast on 28 Jun 2011
James Spithill, with Russell Coutts (background) ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget © http://photo.americascup.com/

Jimmy Spithill’s version of getting up and heading to the office is just a little different to most. He starts in the gym about 7.00am, heads home for a shower and breakfast, then hits the ORACLE Racing HQ at San Francisco’s Pier 80 for an operations meeting which sets the team’s agenda for the day.

This week the focus has been on trialing equipment with Race Committee and umpires. A sailing team debrief follows where the team discusses what happened the previous day on the water, analyzing video footage and working with coaches Philippe Presti and Darren Bundock (aka Bundy). Meetings over, it’s time to crank up the pace and get out on the water. 'It's a full day,' says Jimmy. SailBlast editor Michelle Slade chatted to the skipper of America's Cup defender, ORACLE Racing about his first week sailing the AC45 in San Francisco.

SailBlast: What have you learned this past week in San Francisco?

Spithill: The way the weather works here on the Bay is perfect - from midday on you can be sailing. On these boats you don’t need more than a few hours because it’s so physical for the crew. You get to the point where you start to get diminishing returns because everyone’s starting to get tired. These boats are just physically draining and it takes its toll - you never get a break really. By the time the end of the week comes around you can definitely see everyone needs a couple of days off to recharge.

Another thing we’ve learned here is to split the week up, like we’ll do a Mon/Tues sail, take Wed as a maintenance catch up day, then sail Thurs/Fri. You could sail six days a week but you wouldn’t be any better for it. On the old boats, 2-boat testing was draining but more mentally concentration-wise for the drivers and the trimmers.

SailBlast: There’s a lot of talk about the athleticism required on the 45?

Spithill: It’s definitely a different game - the huge emphasis now is on the athletic side, which I think is good. I have friends who are professional rugby players and they don’t see the athletic side of sailing - they instantly think of guys in a blazer sitting on the side, swanning around the bay. Once people see the 45s, with the cameras and mikes onboard, they see the amount of effort going into it.

SailBlast: Has this had a big part in determining who is on the sailing team?

Spithill: Definitely. You can’t carry anyone. If you’re on these boats or the 72, you’ve got to be fit and you have to be able to perform, and that can only be a good thing. When you look at it, on the 45, there’s only 4 guys doing all the work as the helmsman can’t do a lot - he can help out with the wing trim here and there. On the 72 it’s the same thing - take the helmsman out and you have 10 guys - you have a wing trimmer, and a front sail trimmer, so you have 8 guys to physically do all the work. They have to be all-around sailors. If you make a mistake or if you’re pushing the edge, everyone’s got to be thinking, 'Will I need to ease that sheet if we do a big nose dive , or vice versa.' You never had that on the old boats - you’d be thinking ahead for the maneuver but the consequence of getting it wrong was never a capsize, the consequence, was that we mess a maneuver up or break a pole, tear a spinnaker - now the consequences are serious.

For the full story http://sailblast.blogspot.com/2011/06/jimmy-spithills-version-of-getting-up.html!click_here
Barz Optics - Melanin LensesSchaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82Newport Boat Show 2016 660x82

Related Articles

America's Cup - Changes proposed to control future Cup options
Changes are being mooted to put the America's Cup on a longer-term footing according to the Daily Telegraph (UK) News that changes are being mooted to put the America's Cup on a longer-term footing is being floated in the Daily Telegraph (UK) by the British Challenger, Land Rover BAR. According to the Telegraph, some of the teams in the 2017 America's Cup are keen to lock-in parameters which would bind successive holders of the a style and frequency for the next America's Cup Match.
Posted on 8 Jun
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
Terrific battle in Oyster Regatta Antigua finale
On the final day, two of the three Classes were so close that the winners were decided on the last race. On the final day, two of the three Classes were so close that the winners were decided on the last race. Spectacular sailing conditions prevailed with a brisk 20 knots of wind from the south east. Oyster yachts are built to sail the oceans and revelled in the conditions.
Posted on 12 Apr
34th America's Cup - Oracle pumping claims are flawed - Update
Claims that Oracle Team USA broke the manual propulsion rules in the 34th America's Cup are seriously flawed Claims by an American journalist, Bruce Knecht that Oracle Team USA broke the manual propulsion rules in the 2013 America's Cup are seriously flawed. The allegations received considerable airplay in New Zealand on Friday and over the weekend.
Posted on 6 Mar
America's Cup - Another win for Oracle Team USA in California Courts
America's Cup Defender, Oracle Team USA has been successful in its legal effort to swat away another complaint America's Cup Defender, Oracle Team USA has been successful in its legal effort to swat away a complaint brought by former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell. Mitchell's complaint against his former team was dismissed by a San Francisco Court on Wednesday. The amount of damage/injury claimed was stated as $400,000.
Posted on 12 Feb
America's Cup - No action against Kiwi sailor, but rule changes made
The International Sailing Federation has changed the process for Rule 69 Hearings in line with CAS recommendations One of the Oracle Team USA crew members found by the International Jury to have been involved in boat tampering activities with the America's Cup World Series regattas ahead of the 34th America's Cup has not been further penalised by the International Sailing Federation.
Posted on 19 Nov 2015
America's Cup - ISAF and Cup Jury summonsed by California Court
Five members of the AC34 Int Jury and the Int Sailing Federation have been summonsed by a San Francisco Court The International Sailing Federation, the controlling body for world sailing, and the five individuals who made up the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup have been summonsed by a San Francisco Court, to answer a lawsuit.
Posted on 9 Sep 2015
Dean Barker's Blog - Back into the racing
Five times America's Cup helmsman Dean Barker gives his view on his split with Team New Zealand and life since Writing on his blog at Kiwi Yachting Consultants' websites, of which he is a substantial shareholder and director, five times America's Cup helmsman Dean Barker gives his view on life since Team NZ. This is my first blog for quite some time. In fact since September last year when I was still a part of Team NZ racing in Istanbul for the Extreme Sailing Series.
Posted on 20 Apr 2015
America's Cup- Mitchell fires new salvo at ISAF Jury Officials
Matthew Mitchellhas advised that he has filed complaints of Gross Misconduct against all five Americas Cup jury members Matthew Mitchell, previously a member of Oracle Team USA, has issued a media release advising that he has filed complaints of Gross Misconduct against all five Americas Cup jury members with the sport's International governing body (ISAF). This action follows on from his recent claims about the actions of another team member Simeon Tienpont, now with Challenger Luna Rossa.
Posted on 5 Feb 2015
America's Cup- Oracle crew mate lodges ISAF complaint against Tienpont
Last Friday, former OTUSA's Matthew Mitchell issued a media release stating that he has lodged a complaint with the ISAF Last Friday, former Oracle Team USA team member, Matthew Mitchell issued a media release stating that he has lodged a complaint with the International Sailing Federation over the actions of a fellow crew member, Simeon Tienpont, and inaction by the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup, in San Francisco.
Posted on 28 Jan 2015