Oracle Team USA announced a reshuffled crew line-up for the 34th Match for the America's Cup, after the International Jury lent their hand to the selection process, earlier in the day.
Originally planned as a major PR exercise by the Defenders, the suspension from the first four races of one potential crew member, and the jettisoning of another by the team put a dampener on what was expected to be a major PR occasion for Oracle Team USA. With Jimmy Spithill at the helm, the 11-member crew will comprise the starting lineup when the team’s quest to defend the America’s Cup begins on San Francisco Bay this Saturday.
Spithill, the youngest winning skipper in America’s Cup history, takes the helm again, this time on the team’s AC72 catamaran. The crew also features grinder Shannon Falcone, grinder Rome Kirby, grinder/tactician John Kostecki, wing trimmer Kyle Langford, grinder Jonathan Macbeth, jib trimmer Joe Newton, grinder Gilberto Nobili, grinder/strategist Tom Slingsby, grinder Joe Spooner and grinder Simeon Tienpont.
'We’ve got a great mix across the board – from Rome and Kyle, the youngest on the team, to JK [Kostecki], who is one of the most experienced. It’s a great group, and these guys are all incredibly hard workers,' Spithill said. 'We have our boats, we have our race crew, now we’re all really ready to race.'
The 34th America’s Cup commences on Saturday, Sept. 7, on the San Francisco Bay. Two races are scheduled with the first starting at 1:10 pm local, followed by race two at 2:10 pm local. Races will be broadcast in the U.S. on NBC for the first two days before reverting to the NBC Sports Network, with live coverage of all races.
'We’ve got a fantastic team all around – our shore crew, our support team – and everyone is working hard to get us ready every day,' Spithill said. 'We’re all here to go racing, and come Saturday, that’s what we’ll do.'
Jimmy Spithill, Helmsman
Birthdate: June 28, 1979
Jimmy boxes with fast hands, serves a fast ball in tennis, needs horsepower under his right foot and, on a race boat, likes to 'send it.' He is the America’s Cup’s youngest-ever winning skipper, and twice he’s been named the Australian Male Yachtsman of the Year. Going fast is what he does.
Shannon Falcone, Grinder
Birthdate: June 28, 1981
Shannon’s first footsteps as a child were on his father’s 44-footer Caccia alla Volpe. He went on to win several championships around the world including a 33rd America’s Cup.
Rome Kirby, Grinder
Birthdate: June 6, 1989
Rome is among the youngest members of ORACLE TEAM USA. He recently completed the around the world Volvo Ocean Race onboard with PUMA Ocean Racing, sailing more than 39,000 nautical miles.
John Kostecki, Grinder/Tactician
Birthdate: June 7, 1964
San Francisco native John Kostecki was the first sailor in the world to collect the sport’s 'Grand Slam,' after winning the 33rd America’s Cup, adding to his round-the-world 2001-02 Volvo Ocean Race victory as skipper and Olympic silver medal at the 1988 Games.
Kyle Langford, Wing Trimmer
Birthdate: July 30, 1989
As the youngest sailor on ORACLE TEAM USA, Kyle is accepting the challenge full-on. He is no stranger to skipper Jimmy Spithill. The Aussie compatriots teamed together in 2010 aboard yacht 17 to win the RC 44 World Championship and RC 44 World Match Race Championship.
Jonathan Macbeth, Grinder
Birthdate: March 26, 1973
Seasoned sailor Jonathan 'Jono' Macbeth has garnered his fair share of championships, including a Louis Vuitton Cup win and two America’s Cup titles.
Joe Newton, Jib Trimmer
Birthdate: December 16, 1977
Australian mates skipper Jimmy Spithill and Joe Newton formed a tight bond in their early days competing with Young Australia, and the duo went on to win the 33rd America’s Cup in 2010.
Gilberto Nobili, Grinder
Birthdate: April 29, 1974
Gilberto Nobili, 'Gillo,' is not only an America’s Cup champion but also a double-agent for the team – sailor by day and Java developer by night, building customized displays for each crew member onboard the AC72.
Tom Slingsby, Grinder/Strategist
Birthdate: September 5, 1984
Tom Slingsby is an all-around athlete, with a promising tennis career and a gold medal in sailing from the 2012 Olympic Games in his past and the 34th America’s Cup Finals in his future.
Joe Spooner, Grinder
Birthdate: October 31, 1973
Entering into this 34th America’s Cup, skilled sailor Joe Spooner already has two America’s Cup titles, three Fastnet Race wins and a Rolex Maxi Worlds championship in his trophy case.
Simeon Tienpont, Grinder
Birthdate: January 20, 1982
Simeon is no stranger to speed, sailing with the record-setting 24-hour monohull run in the Volvo Ocean Race in 2005-06 and a 33rd America’s Cup title. He is a jack of all trades from a shipbuilding family and studied design and construction of yachts at university.
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5:40 AM Wed 4 Sep 2013GMT
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