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

Touch2Play had the great fortune of participating in what would be the largest yet gathering of J88’s to date. Quantum Key West Race Week would serve as a chance to see how boats lined up against one another in conditions that covered the full range. For this event we had Rob and Sandy Butler, Steve Leibel, Keven Piper, Coleen Walsh and myself, Larry Huibers. ... [more]  

As the Barcelona World Race leaders race to the Crozet Islands, once again their paths have diverged – Neutrogena around 200 miles to the south-west of first-placed Cheminées Poujoulat on the water, and gaining around 40 miles in the past 24 hours. ... [more]  

For the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will announce on Saturday (31 January) at 10:00 CET the final line-up of sports. ... [more]  

On a high octane first day of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami on Monday (26 January) Giles Scott, Alison Young and the Paralympian Sonar trio of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas saw the best possible start to their 2015 sailing seasons with double race victories. ... [more]  

On the opening day of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, presented by Sunbrella, it was sunny and bright. It was storming and raining sideways. It was sunny and bright. ... [more]  

On the opening day of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, presented by Sunbrella, it was sunny and bright. It was storming and raining sideways. It was sunny and bright. ... [more]  

RC44 World Championship Leg 1 gets underway on 24th March until 29th March 2015. The RC 44 Class is unlike any 40 foot sailing yacht ever designed, and the reason for that is simple. She is a high performance one design yacht created for top level racing in international regattas. If one was to compare this concept to racing cars, then we would be talking about the F1, NASCAR or similar. ... [more]  

On Day 1 of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella, America's premier Olympic and Paralympic classes regatta, featured the full range of what sailing in Miami has to offer. Over 850 sailors enjoyed strong breeze for the duration of the day, in addition to a brief but powerful rainstorm. ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Giles Scott (GBR) said last week that he hoped his unbeaten run would continue, and based on Monday’s form at the Sailing World Cup Miami, the 2014 World and European Finn Champion is giving it a pretty good shot ... [more]  

ISAF Olympic classes regatta Miami 2015 images provided by photographer Ingrid Abery. ... [more]  

Team Alvimedica won a Leg 3 podium place in China after some of the closest racing ever seen in the history of the Volvo Ocean Race. The Turkish-American team protected their position in the final stretch to Sanya, carefully navigating a course peppered with fishing boats along the Vietnamese coast and across the South China Sea to cap off a well-sailed leg to clinch third. ... [more]  

The finish of Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race in Sanya, China just before noon on January 27, 2015 marked an unbelievable end to a magnificent leg for Dongfeng Race Team. After leading the fleet virtually all the way from Abu Dhabi to Sanya in China, over more than 5,000 miles of intense ocean racing, Dongfeng finally crossed the finish line in first place ... [more]  

Winner of Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Dongfeng, have released footage taken from a drone launched from the Volvo Ocean Race yacht, as she sails in light airs on the last days of Leg 3 of the race. It is believed to be the first time a drone, launched from a competitor, has been used in a major ocean race. ... [more]  

World sailing history was created earlier today when Dongfeng Race Team became the first Chinese yacht to have a win in a premier trans-ocean racing event. Her win was also a first in the 41-year history of the Volvo Ocean Race. At 1131hrs UTC the Chinese flagged entry emphatically won Leg 3 in their home port of Sanya to take the overall leadin the 40,000nm event with six stages to go. ... [more]  

On the morning of the 26th of January, the Maersk Line ship MV Stockholm delivered the Team Vestas Wind's damaged VO65 to the port in Genoa, Italy. From here she will be taken to the Persico building facilty where the rebuild of the wrecked boat will be undertaken. The team's goal is to rejoin the race in Lisbon, Portugal in June, 2015. ... [more]  

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is considering backing Sir Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup bid, in a move that would propel the fortunes of the Olympic gold medallist yet further. Sir Ben is believed to have asked the Virgin billionaire to consider backing the venture when he and his new wife, Georgie Thompson, spent time on Sir Richard’s Necker Island in January. ... [more]  

To the 91st 2015 Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race significant changes have been made in order to enhance the race experience, and by the looks of it, sailors are embracing them wholeheartedly. ... [more]  

Alpari World Match Racing Tour - Monsoon Cup preview by Alpari World Match Racing Tour
The final event of the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour, Monsoon Cup Malaysia, is to take place in its new home of Johor, the southernmost state of Malaysia, over 10th-14th February. In addition to being the grand finale of the Tour, the event will also see the 2014 ISAF Match Racing World Champion crowned. ... [more]  

In the Barcelona World Race the two lead boats are preparing for a gruelling 3,500-mile game of chase across the Southern Ocean, until the next natural gateway of the course, Cape Leeuwin in south-west Australia. ... [more]  

Quantum Key West Race Week provided the opportunity for the GC32s to make a spectacular debut in the USA. During the five days of racing held in balmy temperatures off the southernmost tip of Florida, crews experienced a range of conditions. ... [more]  

40 year old Charles Caudrelier the skipper of race leader Dongfeng was a major figure of the winning French team Groupama in 2011-12 . With the Dongfeng team now approaching Sanya, almost unstoppable, its worthwhile hearing from Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad who is hugely pleased with the current on water situation. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race. The northerly drag race continues, with the stable light wind forecast to drop slightly. The boats have all remained in position, if anything cementing their places with gaps between them increasing slightly through the night. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - Sailing in a straight line was never supposed to be as tense as this. We’ve been pointing at Sanya for almost a day now and fortunately, Alvimedica, MAPFRE, and Brunel far enough back to not be in AIS range anymore. The problem is they’re not in AIS range anymore. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - After what can only be described as a frustrating few days of wind and current conditions in the Malacca Strait, the shipping lanes we had to pass were a bit more entertaining as it was upwind which meant some tacking. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 3 Finish - Video - Delayed feed by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Tune in here to see the finish of Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean race in Sanya. Will sailing history be made? Can Dongfeng become the first Chinese flagged yacht to win a Leg in a Round the World Race? ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Bigger than ever in 2015, with an atmosphere crackling with adrenaline, the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella, was ground zero on Sunday as competitors from 63 countries made their final preparations. ... [more]  

The Chinese entry Dong looks set to create sailing sailing history when she finishes first on Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Sanya in two days time. Includes video Currently Dongfeng is 250 nm to the finish line in Sanya and the chasing pack with ADOR ahead in second place 55+ nm behind the Chinese team. ... [more]  

The first of the iconic Great Capes has been passed in the Barcelona World Race with Cheminées Poujoulat rounding the Cape of Good Hope earlier this morning. Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam passed 20°E around 400 miles south of Cape Agulhas – the southernmost tip of Africa – at 0935am (UTC) today and have begun the Indian Ocean leg of their race around Antarctica. ... [more]  

The Classic 18fters were racing again on Saturday on Sydney harbour. Michael Chittenden caught the action from a shore vantage point. ... [more]  

When race leader Dongfeng rounded Singapore 60+ nautical miles ahead of the chasing pack, it looked like the final 1200 miles of Leg three would be a procession but over the last day, the Volvo Ocean race leg from Abu Dhabi to Sanya China appears to have tightened incredibly. ... [more]  

US Sailing and Rolex USA announced last week that the 2014 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year is Stephanie Roble. Her accomplishments on the water last year were recognized by the selection panel for her versatility; her accomplishments as a skipper and as a crew; and her competitive successes on a variety of platforms, sailing against both men and women. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - The first of the Great Capes is fast-approaching, with the leading boats in the Barcelona World Race expected to pass the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope at the tip of South Africa tomorrow. As they pass 20°E, the Atlantic Ocean will deliver its verdict – did Cheminées Poujoulat’s east-bound track or Neutrogena’s southerly gamble pay off? ... [more]  

Mardi Gras may not be for another month but US Sailing’s National Sailing Programs Symposium (NSPS) kicked it off early for Oakcliff Sailing this year. This evening, Oakcliff received The Captain Joe Prosser Award, given to an organization that has made an exemplary contribution toward improving the quality and safety in the training or instruction of sailors. ... [more]  

20 Nations head for 2015 St.Maarten Heineken Regatta
Volvo Ocean Race - Less than 500 miles to go
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Fantastic finish
Barcelona World Race: Weather beacons launched midrace
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 5
Mount Gay Round Barbados Race – Gala prizegiving marks end of event
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 5 images by Ingrid Abery
Volvo Ocean Race Leader - Dongfeng - the right place at the right time
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Notice Of Race online
Currently doing scheduled maintenance.
Volvo Ocean Race: Changes to Team Vestas Wind crew
McDougall+McConaghy Moth Worlds: Highlight video released
America's Cup: Oracle crew mate lodges complaint against Tienpont
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 4 images by Ingrid Abery
2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - US Sailing Team preview
Quantum Key West Race Week 2015 - A great day
Volvo Ocean Race: Jump seat and Pro-Am race spots up for auction
Lauderdale Olympic Classes Regatta overall
Volvo Ocean Race - Dongfeng? Race Team suffer? damage
America's Cup: Italy to host first America's Cup World Series regatta
Breeze and Sunshine at Quantum Key West Race Week   
Images of the Millennium Cup and Bay of Islands Sailing Week - Day 1:   
2015 Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race – Three records broken   
St.Maarten Heineken Regatta - Simplified logistics and fun themes   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 3 images by Ingrid Abery   
Millennium Cup: Racing in the picturesque Bay of Islands   
Volvo Ocean Race - Up up and away   
Barcelona World Race - 'Haves' and 'Have Nots'   
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 update from Jack Bouttell onboard Dongfeng   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Game time!   
Extreme Sailing Series™ 2015 – Ninth year ready to rock!   
Foiling GC32s Key West Race Week images by Ingrid Abery   
Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race - Crews prepare for big race   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 2   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - A challenging day   
America's Cup: Spithill leads Oracle reconnaissance team in Bermuda   
Extreme Sailing Series announces new teams and venues for 2015   
Barcelona World Race - Leaders enter the fastest section of the course   
Martinique Surf Pro - Must attend event in the world surfing circuit   
New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup preview   


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