sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : America's Cup update with Oracle helm James Spithill (part 1)
America's Cup update with Oracle helm James Spithill (part 1)


'ORACLE TEAM USA / San Francisco (USA)'    Guilain Grenier Oracle Team USA©    Click Here to view large photo

The 2013 America's Cup is now just six months and the pressure is mounting on all the teams...

Oracle skipper and helm, James (Jimmy) Spithill is a straight talking Australian. In 2010, aboard BMW Oracle Racing, Spithill became the youngest ever winner of the America's Cup. Sail-world interviewed him at length last week. Some of his observations were predictable and diplomatic but others less so and there is obviously some needle between Oracle USA and the Team New Zealand already.


SW. In September on San Francisco Bay, in past years we have seen wind comes in at 20 to 22 knots straight from the bridge about 14:30.

For the America's Cup you are going to start at 13:00 so it is going to be 15 knots and building and a little variable. Is that what you are training for?

JS. Typically in the summer you can get anywhere from 10 to 20 knots usually. Round September a little bit more, there is a small percentage chance we can get less than 10 knots for a race and another small percent chance we can get a lot of wind, like 30. Otherwise San Francisco is a good 15 to 20 knots.

ORACLE TEAM USA / San Francisco (USA) -  Guilain Grenier Oracle Team USA©   Click Here to view large photo
That’s the beauty of San Francisco as a venue for television and on time starts... It is just the ultimate venue in that the wind is so reliable.

Last year we had the two World Series events here. One in September and one on October.

You can pretty much set your watch to the wind. Either way with these boats, as we have shown even with the 45s, they can sail in pretty much all conditions. That’s what makes them good and that is important to TV. You cannot have delays.

By contrast, it has been a pretty tough winter for Artemis, wind-wise. Speaking to some of those guys they were saying the sailing hours were few and far between.

Certainly since we have started sailing in February it has just been 10 to 20 knots and even up to 25

SW. What did you learn from the capsize?

JS. A lot. It was a huge learning experience. I reckon the biggest thing to take from that is seeing how people react to a tough situation in basically the aftermath. Psychologically, as a group. It was a big test and it was pretty rewarding to see how our shore team, our boat building team the engineers how they dealt with it. It has been really impressive to see the team reacted.

ORACLE Team USA AC 72 capsizes during training in San Francisco Bay -  Guilain Grenier-Oracle Racing©   Click Here to view large photo
From that point of view we have been tested more than any other team. No other team has been through what we have been through and to get through that and to be able to come back out there we have put a better, faster boat on the water than what we had and safer. It is a big statement for our competitors out there.

SW. Tiller to wheel steering – what benefits for you as the driver?

JS. If we weren’t foiling I think the tiller would be the way to go. I think all the boats like all the 60s have tillers, the MOD70s have tillers. Even with TP52s the tiller is the go and I think you can do a better job.

But once you start foiling it does seem better, a bit more locked in with the wheel. You can plant your feet when you are foiling and doing those speeds. It does seem a little bit better.

We decided to have a wheel and I guess it is our attitude in the team that we are always improving the boat. We are always looking at little ways here and there that may give us a little gain in the boat.

If you look at the boat now from when it was launched it is quite a lot different. That process is what the Cup is all about. The constant R&D and small improvements. It will happen the whole way up to the Cup. These refinements and changes.

I think we have made a big step with the boat. I think it is a big improvement on a lot of parts. Before we capsized we had a long list of modifications that we were planning over the winter.

Oracle Team USA / San Francisco (USA) -  Guilain Grenier Oracle Team USA©   Click Here to view large photo
Obviously we had to start a little bit earlier than we expected. We had a lot we wanted to change and in some ways we had to look hard at a few others following what happened.

We are all pretty happy with the boat as it is but on that point we are not just going to stop. We are going to keep on with improvements.

The boat is much faster than when we started. It’s such a new class there are a lot of refinements. To do those refinements you have to come into the shed and let the engineers and the boat builders get some time on it.

Just because of the scale of the boat and the loads it sees it does take a bit of time to produce components. Most of the stuff when you are making a change isn’t just an overnight job.

SW. Other key changes?

JS. The other big change is the foils shapes. That’s obviously big. Teams are going to spend a lot of time and energy trying to figure out how do we gybe and keep it on the foils.

SW. Yes, Look at the early days of the Moths – top mark, was a stop, turn, then come back up on the foils – now they zoom around, so there is a lot to learn?

JS. Boat handling is a big part of Moth sailing. The guys who can tack and gybe without the thing coming off the foils or stopping too much they take massive gains at the turning marks as well and so it will be with the AC72´s.

But you can’t just focus on one area. You really need to make sure you don’t have any weak links. Obviously foiling is very important. You can’t also disregard the sails or the wing. All the crew work. It all adds up.

Oracle Team USA AC72 training in San Francisco Bay -  Americas Cup Media   Click Here to view large photo
SW. How is progress going with the second boat?

JS. The boat is going well. It’s on its pathway. Nothing really changed when we had the capsize. We were planning on bringing boat one in. Boat two has been on its path and the guys have done a fantastic job just working away. It is just a lot of man hours to build these boats and there components.

SW. How many days on the water with this one before you get boat number two?

JS. Not sure. It depends how it goes. We have had hiccups and we have made changes. The fact is that boat one is proving pretty reliable. The other week I think we sailed four days a week, last week, which is almost unheard of and it just highlights the amount of effort the shore guys are putting in to running it.

It depends on the build program going forward. We are expecting to have quite a bit more sailing in boat one, put it that way.

SW. How much time are you expecting to have with two boats sailing together?

JS. We have been setting up for two boats sailing. That’s where we have gone out and we have acquired a lot of depth in our sailing team, for two boat sailing...

What will be interesting is how many days we can actually sail during the week. It is quite a logistical operation to launch two boats, to sail two boats but … we just have to gear up.

Artemis Racing and Oracle Team USA AC72 training in San Francisco Bay in early February -  Artemis Racing   Click Here to view large photo
SW. Artemis learned a lot by briefly sailing against you. What did you learn?

JS. We learned heaps as well. You sail around on your own. One boat testing is inherently very difficult for performance …. But we learned a lot and … Just seeing another boat and seeing how it reacts and what the other guys are doing. It was a fantastic experience for both teams.

SW: Looking forward to Emirates TNZ and Luna Rossa getting there as soon as they can?

JS. It would be great. They have been doing a lot of sailing down in New Zealand. They would be getting big benefits by training against each other.

SW. From afar it does look like team NZ is pretty well sorted. They have got more time in the water than anybody and also more time in the second boat. Don’t you wish you were in the same situation?

JS. Trust me I don’t wish I was a New Zealander. That would never ever happen. Team New Zealand has had more sailing time and they have been making a big deal about it.

Emirates Team NZ starts angling for the windward position at the start - AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013 -  Richard Gladwell_©   Click Here to view large photo

But, at the end of the day this is also yacht race and I can tell you one thing that Team New Zealand struggled on is the racing part, in the AC45's.

When the pressure came on in Newport in the final World Series they dropped the ball there. The last two events in San Francisco they didn’t perform that well either. That’s with one design of course.

Oracle Team USA skipper James Spithill -  Guilain Grenier Oracle Team USA©  
Obviously the America’s Cup is a lot of that as well but it is a combination this time.

The other thing is that it is not a day count competition. There is no trophy for the team that sails the most.

Maybe now they have been making big deal about it but at the end of the day the trophy won’t be awarded if you do more sailing days than other teams.

I have been on campaigns where we have done more sailing days than the other teams and it didn’t matter. It is about using them smartly. It is about getting the concept right.

At the end of the day the guys than win the races during the match they are going to get given the trophy and ultimately that’s it.

In Part 2 Jimmy tells us more about the two boat program and what he REALLY thinks about the Kiwi's.


by Rob Kothe

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=107367

3:07 PM Mon 11 Mar 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2013 America's Cup

Related News Stories:

11 Mar 2013  America's Cup: Big week of racing for Emirates Team NZ and Luna Rossa
09 Mar 2013  America's Cup: Am-Cam Video - AC72s at Takapuna Beach - Practice Race
09 Mar 2013  America's Cup: AC72 at Takapuna Beach - First reach and Downwind
09 Mar 2013  America's Cup: AC72 at Takapuna Beach - the Start and first Reach
09 Mar 2013  America's Cup: AC72 Practice racing off Takapuna Beach
07 Mar 2013  America's Cup: Flying high in the Hauraki Gulf - Four Am-Cam videos
07 Mar 2013  America's Cup Discovered: Episode 79 - AC History with Gary Jobson
07 Mar 2013  America's Cup: A fine February in San Francisco
06 Mar 2013  America's Cup: AC72's line up in Auckland - Luna Rossa does a flypast
06 Mar 2013  America's Cup: AC72's line up in Auckland - at the windward mark
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

After the Volvo Ocean Race finished on Saturday night, Sail-World.com's NZ editor, Richard Gladwell caught up with Ryan Houston from Team Alvimedica. He talks about wanting to sail on a Kiwi boat in the next race - how this race compares with the others in which he has sailed - how small gains seem to be paying well - the vexed issue of AIS on tactics, and more ... [more]  

After the Volvo Ocean Race finished on Saturday night, Sail-World.com's NZ editor, Richard Gladwell caught up with Dave Swete from Team Alvimedica. A product of the RNZYS Youth Program, Swete is on his second Volvo Ocean Race. He touches on the differences between the two programs, the impact that AIS is having on the racing and plenty more ... [more]  

Sail-World.com's New Zealand Editor caught up with Race Director, Jack Lloyd on the floor of the sail-loft in the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard. In this 15 minute interview, Lloyd gives his view of the progress made as a result of adopting the Volvo 65 One Design - with all boats having finished every leg (with one exception - Vestas Wind). ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Image gallery - Tour of the Boatyard by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com NZL
Yesterday Volvo Ocean Race threw open the barriers and let the media have an inside view of the Boatyard at the Viaduct Events Centre The area is open to the public (stay behind the safety barriers) where you can see the boats on the hard, and look inside the Events Centre which has been converted into a massive sail and rigging loft. ... [more]  

Artemis Racing took their development AC45 out on San Francisco Bay, yesterday. Videographer, John Navas was there to catch all the action on high resolution video. ... [more]  

2015 RC44 Championship Tour - With less than a month to go, eleven teams are eagerly anticipating the season-opener set to take place in Malta's renowned capital of Valletta, the historic 'City of Knights', from 25-29 March. ... [more]  

The 2015 US Grand Slam Series will take place within the month of August, beginning a couple weeks earlier and in a different order than previous editions. The Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, Bayview Yacht Club, Chicago Match Race Center, and Oakcliff Sailing organizers are pleased to announce that Requests for Invitation are being accepted now and all venues anticipate high demand. ... [more]  

A beautiful sunny Miami welcomed Star sailors to the first day of the 88th Bacardi Cup. One race is scheduled for each day of the 6-day event as part of the Bacardi Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank. With winds around 10 knots from the East, the racing area was set about 1 ¾ miles south of Dinner Key Channel. The course is set at 95 degrees with two-mile legs, which will test sailors ... [more]  

It’s been a month since the International Paralympic Committee publicized its decision to drop sailing from the slate of sports at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Since then ISAF has stepped up to lead the appeal for reinstatement. At US Sailing, we believe ISAF leadership is critical to our chances of overturning this decision, and we are pleased to see President Carlo Croce take this on himself ... [more]  

Top international photographer, Chris Cameron is working out of the Volvo Ocean Race Village in Auckland. ... [more]  

The first WWA Pro Card Qualifier presented by Malibu boats is set for March 22, 2015, hosted once again by Freedom Wake Park in Orlando, Florida. The WWA Pro Card events have been created to separate the top riders in the world and recognize them as elite. ... [more]  

NZ Rigging Supplied the Mast and Rigging package for Adrian Walters new Shaw 11 mtr 'Little Nico'. The mast is a High Modulus mast with internal locks on all halyards, internal mast jack, one piece Nomex cored box section boom, and composite rigging.cored box section boom, and composite rigging. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - As Cheminées Poujoulat climbed north out of the latitudes of the Roaring 40s and into a regime change on the east side of the South Atlantic high pressure system, leaders Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam are into relatively stable, quick downwind conditions which will allow them to make good miles north, ultimately to connect with the trade winds. ... [more]  

2015 Hobie 16 North American Championships September 20 to 25 at Pensacola Yacht Club. ... [more]  

Hobie Mid-Winter East - Ocean Springs Yacht Club April 10-12 2015. The regatta is open to all Hobie Cat classes ... [more]  

Choosing the northern route turned out to be a brilliant tactical decision. But not all decisions went so well. Because of one wrong gybe and changed weather patterns, Team Brunel lost its lead in less than a day. With only the Volvo Ocean Race tracker as a guide, it’s difficult for fans to understand how the Dutch team lost more than 80 nautical miles. Skipper Bouwe Bekking looks explains ... [more]  

RORC Caribbean 600 – Arguably the best fleet of offshore racing yachts that has ever gathered in the Caribbean, took part in the seventh edition of the event. 66 yachts started the 600 mile race around 11 Caribbean islands, with numerous world champions, America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race sailors taking part with passionate Corinthian amateurs, many of whom are members of the Royal Ocean Racing Cl ... [more]  

This summer’s ‘must have’ tickets for The America’s Cup World Series, Portsmouth (ACWSUK) are officially available from Monday 2nd March. Fans and spectators are encouraged to book their place now to avoid disappointment with event organisers already receiving a large number of ticket and hospitality enquires. ... [more]  

SCYA's E.E. Manning Regatta 2015 – They had never sailed together until six months earlier when they stepped onto a boat that neither had ever sailed, but skipper Joseph Hou, 15, and crew Skylar Jacobsen, 14, squeezed out a remarkable victory Sunday in the Southern California Youth Yacht Racing Association's Shadden Series ... [more]  

Shawn Bennett of Tiburon, Calif. won the Long Beach Stop of the 2015 California Dreamin’ Series Sunday in this International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Grade three match racing regatta hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club and raced on the Long Beach Sailing Foundation’s fleet of Catalina 37s. ... [more]  

Sitting here in Antigua airport waiting for my flight back to London, life is good having just blasted across the Atlantic in just under nine and a half days on board the new Phaedo3 MOD 70, one of the fastest sailing boats 'in the world'... ... [more]  

In November of 1994 Yachting Magazine consultant Gary Jobson asked Peter Craig, 'how hard can it be? Just raise some flags and blow off some guns.' And so began Craig's involvement in what was then a 112 boat - single division regatta that would soon evolve into an iconic annual international keelboat event. Yachting Magazine founded Key West Race Week in 1987. ... [more]  

Serious Fun! That's what participants, sponsors and onlookers are expected to have during the 35th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta which will be held in St. Maarten during March 05 - 08, 2015. The Regatta is considered to be the biggest in the Caribbean and offers a great combination of challenging races and fantastic gatherings under the banner of 'Serious Fun'! ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race – After the limits of the southern oceans imposed by the combination of the weather systems and the safety barrier of the Antarctic Exclusion Zone, the Atlantic is opening up for the top trio. ... [more]  

Images from Auckland of the media conference on Sunday and prizegivings for Leg 4 ... [more]  

At the media conference held the morning after the finish of leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Mapfre skipper Xabi Fernandez announced that regular skipper Iker Martinez will be back on board for the next leg and most of the remainder of the race. Fernandez had taken over the role, skippering Mapfre to a 4th place on Leg 3 and a win on Leg 4. ... [more]  

Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank will kick off with 173 boats traveling to Coconut Grove to compete in the 88th Bacardi Cup ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 4 finishes at night after a tense day *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL
The finish was more like that of a short 100nm race around the Hauraki Gulf. Instead, the first three boats to cross the finish line at the end of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race arrived mid-evening. ... [more]  

Farr 40 International Circuit - Alex Roepers doesn't like to dwell in the past. However, when prompted, the New York businessman will talk about the magical run he and the crew aboard Plenty enjoyed during the 2014 Farr 40 International Circuit. To the contrary, the thrill of victory only made Roepers and the Plenty team hungry for more. ... [more]  

Coast Guard crews continue the search Monday for Richard Byhre, the 76-year-old sailor who did not return from his sailing trip as expected. ... [more]  

The International Sonar Class is pleased to announce that Shumway Marine, with the cooperation of designer Bruce Kirby has made arrangements to have the Sonar built by Rondar Race Boats in the U.K., with plans eventually to have the boat built on both sides of the ocean. The American Rondar facility is in Peabody, MA. Rondar, expects to launch its first Sonar in April. ... [more]  

Rio de Janeiro's state environmental agency says it is investigating a fish die-off that has left thousands of carcasses floating in waters where sailing events are to be held when Brazil hosts next year's Olympics. ... [more]  

This year's 35th edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is nothing less than an island-wide effort. Besides the sponsors, countless volunteers and the numerous local organizations that offer their excellent services, the Regatta Organizers would like to say special thanks to the hotels which are so generous to donate complimentary hotel rooms for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Images ashore after Leg 4
Volvo Ocean Race: Images from the finish of Leg 4
Volvo Ocean Race-Brasileiro ajuda barco espanhol a vencer quarta etapa
RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show - a British tradition
Eight minutes between Podium players as Spanish win VOR leg 4
Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 4 - fleet arrives in Auckland and the winner is
Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 4 - the fleet approaches Auckland
Volvo Ocean Race - Less than 10 miles to Auckland finish
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 - Third time lucky for happy Hap
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 4 Finish - Auckland - Live Video and Updates
Barcelona World Race - Neutrogena crosses Cape Horn with 40 knots wind
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Natty Rico will close the final night
Barcelona World Race - At Cape Horn memories are made. and recalled
Big winds for SCYA Manning Regatta at ABY Club
Hutchinson and Roble honored at US Sailing’s Rolex Awards ceremony
Finn World Masters Championships 2015 - Pre registration open
Registration for the 2015 Finn European Championship is live!
RORC Caribbean 600, day 4 – Classic Focus and Four Figaro II teams
Hutchinson, Roble honored in New York as Best of 2014
Barcelona World Race - Pedestrian Pacific, Atlantic highway to home
America's Cup: Artemis Racing lines up against Oracle Team USA - Video   
High Performance Yacht Design conference during Volvo OR stopover   
Volvo Ocean Race: Ryan Houston - How Alvimedica's chemistry works *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race: Dave Swete - Alvimedica's race so far *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – No sleep until Auckland   
Etchells NA Midwinter East Series - Schoonmaker Cup preview   
RORC Caribbean 600 day 4 – Close competition – 43 yachts still racing   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica hopes to use Coastal Classic tricks *Feature   
AC45 Turbo Training - Oracle Team USA images by pressure-drop + Video   
America's Cup: Emirates Team New Zealand gears up on less money *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race – The race tightens as New Zealand looms   
AWT Goya Pro Cabo Verde kicks off in style!   
Barcelona World Race - Two different worlds separated by Cape Horn   
America's Cup: Barker offered non-sailing role by Emirates team NZ   
2015 CYC Midwinters Race – Pictures by pressure-drop.us   
CYC Midwinters Racing – Bring On The Breeze! – Overall   
Laser World Championship – Over 2000 sailors to race in Kingston   
Volvo Ocean Race: Barkow and Lush - from the Olympics to the Volvo *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – Its anyone's race - Leg 4 to Auckland   
Barcelona World Race - A time for extra care and caution   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT