Jimmy Spithill: Mind Games, Dean Barker, and Techno Rumors

Published on October 6th, 2013

The Australian-born sailor who broke New Zealand’s hearts with his come-from-behind victory in the 34th America’s Cup, Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill shares these comments in the New Zealand Herald

On mind games…
“Most of it at press conferences is all about trying to get into the other guy’s head, playing mind games. Every time I stated we could win, that was true. Every time I said we wouldn’t give up, that was true … But when I was saying we were changing the boat every night … nah, we weren’t. We made a few changes but we wanted it to be known we were doing huge things every night. When you are in the heat of the battle, things are said and you are playing mind games…”

On Kiwi challenger skipper Dean Barker…
Dean is a champion and Dean had the weight of a nation on his shoulders and he shouldn’t have … It seems wrong to me. The guy is out there having a go and leading a fantastic team, what more can you ask? Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. In my mind he’s a champion. We’ve had some great battles and I can’t wait to take him on again.”

On techno rumors…
“The last one I heard, [Sir Russell] Coutts had a remote control sitting on the chase boat. He could drive grinders, drive the boat … he could do everything. I wish he had; it would have made it much easier for us. It’s comedic, this talk of there being a super (stabilizing) system on the boat … [It’s] people trying to look for a silver bullet. Unfortunately [it] just came down to hard work. Let me be crystal clear, because obviously you are very misled: There is no Herbie. Herbie is a car that drives around in movies. This super stability system, if anyone has got it, send it to me and we will use it next time. For people to suggest or come up with fairytales, it’s comedic. [I] can’t believe people coming up with that.”

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