A sprint to the finish

March 11, 2017


Jimmy Spithill says everyone is aware of the clock as the America’s Cup teams make a final sprint towards the starting line of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers on May 26.

Reflecting on what his Oracle Team USA crew has accomplished in the first 10 weeks of 2017, the skipper said: “2017 has been fantastic. We’ve launched our new boat, which is probably the real milestone in the campaign and now the sprint to the finish is on.”

Spithill noted that the new America’s Cup Class boats were a massive step up from the test platform AC45s and he thinks they’ll produce “frightening” racing.

“The excitement has ramped up now that the other teams are here,” he said. “It’s all happening and now I think everyone is starting to feel the time pressure.”

This past week, Oracle Team USA was training in conditions ranging from light 5-7 knot winds up to 22+ knots on a breezy Thursday.

Rome Kirby, the tactician, said the boat felt good in the strong winds as the team gets more accustomed to top end conditions.

“It’s amazing how quickly you get used to the speed and the loads,” he said. “The more time we spend out in those conditions, the easier it is.”