sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Katie Spithill: Helming an AC45 and the Olympic Match Racing Decision

Katie Spithill: Helming an AC45 and the Olympic Match Racing Decision

'Katie Spithill, the first woman to helm an AC45 with brother James in San Francisco'    James Spithill    Click Here to view large photo

Sail-World correspondent, Damien Devine recently interviewed former World #2 ranked match racer Katie Spithill

Katie is currently in Weymouth training with AST and RPAYC mates Nicky Souter and Jess Eastwell.

Katie Spithill, you recently did a trip to San Fran to catch up with brother James and check out the AC45’s and the new AC set up. I believe you were the first female to be lucky enough to helm an AC45. Along with James and his Oracle Racing Team you experienced first hand the power of these awesome machines. It’s a great opportunity to get a female perspective on the boats and how they fit into match racing and the multihull scene in general. So…

What do you think of the 45’s?

Spithill: Wow – I don’t know where to start, the first thing I said after we hit the dock after the days racing & training was 'Can I have one?' The AC45 was great, it is a fantastic multihull to choose to be involved in the Americas Cup.

Being a match racer and now a F18 sailor, how do you think the match racing aspect will work with these boats?

Katie Spithill, Jessica Eastwell and Lucinda Whitty in Holland - Delta Lloyd Regatta 2011 -  Sander van der Borch?nid=86005_©   Click Here to view large photo

Spithill: Being onboard one of the two Oracle boats whilst they were Match Racing gave me a real insight as to how it is already working using these mutlihulls to Match Race. Not only was it fast, ever changing and exhilaration, there was also a fear factor in there of ‘will we cross, we will meet’ etc whilst the boats are fast closing in on each other at 25+ knots of boat speed.

Unlike the Old AC Boats or many match racing boats these boats are fast moving and need a lot of foresight and anticipation in relation to what will happen next, so that the runners can be loaded, the daggerboards changed, the gennaker furled, etc before you can tack or gybe.

Do you think it could be sailed by an all female crew?

Spithill: The age old question! It is not a question of if it can be done but more so when it will be done. It has been done in the past by the likes of Dawn Riley and the Mighty Mary team back in 1995 when she beat greats like Conners and Cayard. Women can do just fine in the AC when the position and circumstances are right; Just the same as any male team. Forcing it to be an all female team is not a good plan. Integrate women in a proper way and you'll have something, Drivers, Tacticians? Yes. Girls can compete with men on equal terms there, but there is no way that an all girl crew can be competitive when brute force is a key component. Unless of course there were more of them, and this is already the case in some match race classes.

Right now I have my head down on the goal of the Olympics 2012, but the Americas Cup is also in my mind for the future.

Katie Spithill - ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship -  Fried Elliott?nid=86005_©  

Any plans to put a team together?

Spithill: The Americas Cup has always been in my sights, and now that I have been sailing on the AC45s I am absolutely hooked. First and foremost I will continue with my Olympic Campaign Bid leading to 2012 and go from there.

Where are you at with your Olympic Campaign?

Spithill: Due to a management decision last month from the Australian Sailing Team I have been sidelined from the right to skipper for the Australian Women’s Match Racing Squad leading to London 2012 Olympics. This came as quiet a shock given my experience, ranking and results to date and I am still waiting for answers to justify this decision.

I have since then joined forces with current World #2 Ranked Women’s Match Racer Nicky Souter ( who as you know is a former World Champion) as her bowman/tactician to strengthen and continue our campaign together towards 2012.

What other multihull sailing are you doing?

Spithill: My husband (Grant Pellew), and I race an F18 Cat together which is fantastic. Unfortunately at this stage I spend 80% of the year in Europe/America, so we don’t get a lot of time for it. Whilst we have qualified a spot for the F18 World Championships the past 2 years in a row we have been unable to compete on either occasion due to my other match racing commitments. I am returning home in a few weeks to compete in the AUS F18 Nationals up at Magnetic Island with Grant so we can qualify for the Long Beach Worlds.

SWE ARTEMIS vs ITA MASCALZONE Americas cup legend John Bertrand as the 18th man aboard ARTEMIS with Katie Spithill as the onboard observer - Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland -  Paul Todd-Outside Images ©?nid=86005  

What are your thoughts on the whole beach cat multihull scene?

Spithill: I was first introduced to cats at a young age as my father had a Hobie 14 Turbo that James and I would take out. My first memory is of James tipping it over and with the 2 of us kids unable to pull it back up we just happily sat on the hull waiting for dad to realise we hadn’t come back in and come out and pull it up for us. Needless to say it took a few weeks for me to go back out with James at the helm! The next involvement I had with multihulls was meeting my future husband and being convinced to go to Mexico for the Hobie 16 Worlds in 2004 and sail in the Womens Division with his friends wife, whilst the boys worked and competed in the Open Event. Needless to say I was hooked, and have been multihull sailing ever since. Incidentally, Nicky was at those Worlds too

Thanks, Katie, for your time and insight. Good luck with your Olympic campaign!

Spithill: Thank you.




by Damian Devine

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=86005

7:29 AM Sat 16 Jul 2011 GMT






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:

09 Aug 2014  America's Cup: Former Artemis crew member says danger is being ignored
27 May 2014  America's Cup: Oracle Team USA under stress
23 May 2014  America's Cup: Oracle and Team NZ designers reveal AC72 secrets
22 May 2014  America's Cup: Artemis death verdict 'result of an human act'
10 May 2014  A year after the Artemis incident, the sailors tell of the pain
01 May 2014  America's Cup: Oracle and Team NZ tech insights - Free lecture tonight
16 Apr 2014  America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced
14 Apr 2014  America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess
12 Apr 2014  America's Cup: Coutts claims ISAF Jury on a crusade, backs Kiwi report
10 Apr 2014  America's Cup: Two Kiwis escape hometown action in AC45 rules ruckus
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World



















2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Farr 40 Day 4 by William Wagner, San Francisco
















































America's Cup: Luna Rossa sailing with two foiling AC45's + Video
Extreme Sailing: Emirates Team NZ retain second overall
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio Olympic Laser spots snapped up
Rolex Swan Cup - All set for final showdown
Upper Midwest sailors need help to take it to the next level
ISAF Sailing World Championships - RS:X action begins in Santander
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Americans rise in Laser and Radial
Extreme Sailing Series - A remarkable penultimate day’s racing + Video
Marseille One Design - GC32 GDF Suez unstoppable in the light
Rolex Swan Cup - Day 3 images by Carlo Borlenghi
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Images of the leaders in Santander
Rolex Big Boat Series - Good day for Double Trouble
Rolex Big Boat Series - Day 2 images by Erik Simonson
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - TP52 fleet ready for tricky race tracks
Rolex Big Boat Series - Plenty maintains lead
2014 Asia Pacific Student Cup - Count down begins
Extreme Sailing Series: Live coverage of Day 3 - view here
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Going away
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Practice makes perfect
2014 J/70 World Championship - Contrasting conditions on Day 4
Rolex Big Boat Series - 50 years of big boat racing: a retrospective   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Day 2   
Snipe Western Hemisphere and Orient Champ: Rios takes the Championship   
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg Zero signals start of the significant racing   
Extreme Sailing Series: Physically demanding racing for BAR on Day 2   
Emirates Team NZ: Holding second overall after Day 2 in Istanbul   
Extreme Sailing Series: A force to be reckoned with in Istanbul +Video   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Day 1 images by Jesus Renedo and Pedro Martinez   
Marseille One Design: GC32's Armin Strom storms ahead on day 2 + Video   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Racing underway in Santander +Video   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Erika Reineke claims Radial race win   
Santander Worlds 2014 Mat Belcher (Part II) *Feature   
Rolex Swan Cup - Mistral keeps fleet shoreside   
PWA Cold Hawaii World Cup rescued by wave of local support   
ISAF Sailing World Championship, Santander - Opening ceremony images   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Team Alvimedica geared up for Leg Zero   
J/70 World Championship 2014 - Healy surfs into lead   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Day 1   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Gripping first day on the Bay   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Day 1 images by Erik Simonson   


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