Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Isotak Ocean

Spithill’s clean sweep

by Lisa Ratcliff on 16 Mar 2008
Harken Women’s International Match Race 2008 - Sydney, Australia - 16/03/08 Kate Spithill’s Team Acuity seriously hiking © Andrea Francolini Photography http://www.afrancolini.com/
Australia’s Katie Spithill and her crew have showed ominous form early in the Harken Women’s International Match Racing Regatta, finishing day one undefeated after seven flights.

'We were very comfortable out there,' admitted a jubilant Spithill this afternoon having found her groove straight up on home waters.

'This is our second regatta with this team on the Elliott 6’s. The first was the New Zealand Nationals, which was our learning curve, and today we got to practice what we learnt there. It’s a good start for us and our result is a good test of where we are at, but we definitely still have things to work on…drills to go through.

'Today was about hiking out so hard you almost let go and fell in the water,' laughed Spithill, 25, who hails from the famous Pittwater sailing family that produced older brother James Spithill who eight years ago, at the tender age of 20, signed up for his first America’s Cup campaign as helmsman.

World number one Claire Leroy (FRA) and twelfth ranked club mate Nicky Souter (AUS) both suffered today at the hands of Spithill who is currently number three in the world.

On a postcard Sydney autumn day, racing was postponed until 11am this morning when a nor’easterly breeze filled at seven knots and then gradually built to 13 knots throughout the afternoon.

After following the day’s events, organiser Jenni Bonnitcha agreed that Spithill and her crew of Nina Curtis, Kristen Short and Jessica Eastwell, who are flying the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s burgee, looked 'very polished'.

'Their sail set up and crew work is very nice and their acceleration out of the tacks is lovely to watch. During her flight against France’s Christelle Philippe, Katie positioned herself well on Philippe’s hip and managed to sail right over the top of her,' Bonnitcha added.

In perfect sailing conditions on a clear stretch of water between Garden and Clarke Islands at the mouth of Rushcutters Bay in Sydney Harbour, ten teams representing France, Denmark, Germany, the UK, New Zealand and Australia were eased into the four-day grade 2 regatta by a kindly PRO Denis Thompson.

'In consideration of the overseas teams who have travelled great distances, I thought it best not to push too hard on the first day,' said Thompson who decided to hold over the last two flights of the first round robin until tomorrow morning and to send the women ashore at a reasonable hour after an unseasonably hot Sydney day.

Racing will resume at 10.15am tomorrow morning and go through to Wednesday when the finals will be staged on Sydney Harbour.

Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82Southern Spars - 100Zhik Dinghy 660x82

Related Articles

Emirates Team NZ and Southern Spars launching into the America’s Cup
Built by Southern Spars, Emirates Team New Zealand’s newest America’s Cup yacht has been launched. Built by Southern Spars, Emirates Team New Zealand’s newest America’s Cup yacht has been launched. The Auckland-based mast builder demonstrated its standing as one of the world’s top carbon fibre manufacturers. Southern delivered Emirates Team NZ’s most technically advanced yacht ever, meeting the extremely strict budget, construction, weight and timing requirements.
Posted on 20 Feb
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ's bike team in training - Video
Emirates Team New Zealand have released a short video of four of their grinding team in training Emirates Team New Zealand have released a short video of four of their grinding team in training - including two Olympic class sailors and an Olympic Gold medalist rower.
Posted on 20 Feb
America's Cup - Oracle Team USA sails AC50 for first time in Bermuda
Oracle Team USA took to the Great Sound on Monday, sailing its newly launched America's Cup Class boat, '17' Oracle Team USA took to the Great Sound on Monday, sailing its newly launched America's Cup Class boat, '17', for the first time. 'We had a successful day,' said skipper Jimmy Spithill dockside after the training session. 'First impressions were great. The boat went really well, so everyone is happy.'
Posted on 20 Feb
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on why Emirates Team NZ went cycling
How did the potentially game-breaking development to go to cycling grinders remain a secret for so long? After the revelation that Emirates Team NZ had switched from grinders to cyclists, how did the potentially game-breaking development remain a secret for so long? 'The team started work on the project three years ago, but the actual testing started 18-24 months ago,' explained skipper and Sailing Director, Glenn Ashby. 'The team has done well to keep it under wraps for all this time.
Posted on 20 Feb
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ elaborates on the pedal-powered AC50
ETNZ's COO on the 35th America's Cup, the growth of the team, and compared the current boat and Cup to previous editions Kevin Shoebridge is now COO of Emirates Team New Zealand, working alongside his long-time friend and nemesis CEO Grant Dalton. At last Thursday's AC50 christening and launch ceremony, Shoebridge spoke to top international sailing commentator, Peter Montgomery about the 35th America's Cup campaign, the change, and growth of the team, and compared the current boat and Cup to previous editions.
Posted on 20 Feb
Spain’s Xabi Fernández to skipper MAPFRE in Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18
Xabi will return to the Volvo Ocean Race after finishing his work for Sir Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup campaign. The 40-year-old Xabi, who has taken part in the Volvo Ocean Race four times, won Olympic gold in Athens 2004, and followed that up with a silver in 2008 – both times alongside his long-term sailing partner Iker Martínez.
Posted on 17 Feb
Volvo Ocean Race - MAPFRE name Xabi Fernández as skipper
The Basque sailor Xabi Fernández will be once again skipper of the VO65 MAPFRE in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 The Basque sailor Xabi Fernández will be once again skipper of the VO65 MAPFRE in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18, a responsibility that he undertook in the last edition of the race, alongside Iker Martínez. Xabi, born in Ibarra (Basque Country, Spain) in 1976, has a lengthy professional career as an elite sportsman, and an outstanding list of achievements in all the major world sailing events.
Posted on 17 Feb
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ give first look at the pedaling AC50
Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. The team has been sailing for the previous two days making news headlines after it was revealed in Sail-World.com that the AC50 would become only the second yacht in America's Cup history to use pedal power.
Posted on 16 Feb
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ christen AC50 100 days from Cup
Emirates Team NZ christened their AC50 in a rain-marred ceremony at the team's Beaumont Street base Just 100 days out from the first race of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, Emirates Team New Zealand accomplishes the most significant milestone of its challenge for the 35th Americas Cup by christening their America’s Cup Class catamaran that will begin racing in Bermuda in May.
Posted on 16 Feb
America's Cup - Images from Oracle Team USA AC50 launch + Video
After unveiling their AC50 yesterday, Oracle Team USA launched their Defender today in Bermuda. After unveiling their AC50 yesterday, Oracle Team USA launched their Defender today in Bermuda. Top international photographer Carlo Borlenghi was on hand to capture the moment. Catch the moment on video, too
Posted on 15 Feb