Powered by Revenge and Addiction
Published on September 25th, 2018
Jimmy Spithill, after his loss in June 2017 as skipper of defender Oracle Team USA in the 35th America’s Cup, was adamant that this was not his team’s final act.
“We will definitely be chasing this America’s Cup,” said Spithill. “When you’ve been involved with a great group of people, especially a successful team, it is addictive.”
But after five campaigns, team owner Larry Ellison called it quits, though Spithill is far from done. “It does become an obsession. Once you get the taste of it, you want to taste it again.”
Following three editions with Ellison, two wins and one loss, the Australian is now back at Luna Rossa, the team he raced the 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup with, and helped them clinch victory in Valencia at the final 52 Super Series regatta of 2018.
Your America’s Cup journey has almost come back full circle.
It’s fun to be back here and you’re right in saying it’s come full circle. One of the big changes being with an Italian team in any sport is that the whole nation gets behind you. For them, sport is like a religion from football to sailing. Already, the support from fans has been great so that’s pretty cool.
What do you make of the new boats and format?
What I’d say about the new boats is they’re extremely innovative and they’re pushing technology right on the edge, which is a big part of the America’s Cup. But because it’s a brand-new boat, the costs are much higher, so for a new team that can be pretty daunting. Only time will tell to understand how many teams will be on the starting line.
What lessons did you learn from the loss in 2017?
Defeat is nothing but an education. I spend a lot of time thinking about mistakes and defeats, I hardly think about the victories. I hate letting down my teammates and you carry that burden as I was the skipper and I take full responsibility. The two main things I learned from the last America’s Cup was 1) we were too conservative; and 2) I didn’t go with my instincts enough on and off the water.
Are you motivated by revenge on Emirates Team New Zealand?
I’m not going to lie to you, I want payback and revenge. That’s a big part of it. I love competition and they’re the best out there right now. For me, this is another opportunity to go against the best.
What does the America’s Cup mean to you?
It really is my life, and it’s been my life for a long time. What a dream, I get to work with some awesome people from designers, boat builders and the sailors. It’s probably the most addictive thing I’ve ever done.
Source: Red Bull