Sailing legend Spithill interview "The goal is to get the US back at the top

Sailing legend Spithill interview "The goal is to get the US back at the top

27.04.2021: Australian sailing legend has big plans for the United States SailGP team. Jimmy Spithill believes that the 2021/2022 SailGP series will help to re-energise American sailing as he takes the helm of the US boat in this weekend's first Bermuda sto

 
Australian sailing legend has big plans for the United States SailGP team.



 
Jimmy Spithill believes that the 2021/2022 SailGP series will help to re-energise American sailing as he takes the helm of the US boat in this weekend's first Bermuda stop.





Here is all you need to know:




- The Australian took the Italian boat Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli all the way to the 36th America's Cup decider earlier this year against defending champions Emirates Team New Zealand.




- Spithill's crew produced a valiant display in the 7-3 defeat and the skipper of the victorious BMW Oracle Racing boat in 2010 and Oracle Team USA boat in 2013 is now confident that he can help get the USA back at the top table of sailing with success in this year's SailGP series.




- He explained, "When you look back at the '80s and '90s, the US was absolutely a powerhouse in world sailing - at the Olympic level and the America's Cup. But in the past 10 to 20 years, you've got to say that the British, New Zealand and Australia have really sort of overtaken the US when you look at the Olympic results. For us, the goal is to get the US back at the top. We see this as an awesome opportunity to be a catalyst and really change that at the grassroots level."




- This weekend, Bermuda is hosting the first stop of eight events on three continents between April 2021 and March 2022 with eight teams battling it out head-to-head.




- The 41-year-old takes over from helmsman Rome Kirby, who moves to Flight Controller on the identical supercharged F50 catamarans alongside six other crew members as the American team look to improve on their best 2019 finish of third and sixth place overall behind winners Australia.




- With the boats racing at speeds exceeding 50 knots (60 mph/100 kph), he revealed: "The skippers or CEOs are in discussions with the SailGP technical team to constantly upgrade the fleet. In other circuits – the boats may be the latest, but as seasons roll on, they get outdated. That's what I love about this circuit. Yes, everyone gets the same gear, but the boats, the equipment, the technology are constantly evolving and on the leading edge. That's unique."




- Spithill's American boat will face off against his native Australia as well as Denmark, France, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand and Spain as the series sets sail around the world leading into the Grand Final, which includes a winner-takes-all Championship Final Race for the $1m prize.




- He said, "Just watching the practices, it's difficult to single out any one team. Until we at least see how everyone's performing in official practice racing, it would be guessing. With eight boats on a start line, it's a lot like a motocross start. You all go off and then you've got to turn around this mark, this bottleneck. There's going to be ups and downs in getting off the line well, but that ability to pull your way back will be very important."




- The gripping viewing possibilities for fans at each of the eight stops is something that marks the SailGP series out as something different from the rest of the global events.




- He enthused, "I think it's a win for everyone, sailing really close to land and in front of some pretty major city-fronts. This style of racing feels like going into a sporting stadium. Also, they're quick-fire, aggressive, full-throttle races, where you're making really quick decisions. I'm really intrigued by Christchurch. I've spent a big part of my career in New Zealand, but I've never been there. San Francisco is like going to the pipeline in Hawaii. Everyone knows it will be full on. And it's the final, racing for a million bucks."





 
 
Red Bull Media

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27.04.2021 / MaP

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