Log In

Reset Password

Frustrated Spithill targets return

Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle Team USA skipper, has recovered sufficiently from elbow surgery to resume training on the team's wing sail foiling AC45 catamaran.

The multiple America's Cup winner, ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year and past King Edward VII Gold Cup champion underwent the operation in Los Angeles last February for an injury that flared in the lead up to Oracle's successful defence of the America's Cup in San Francisco in 2013.

On the eve of surgery the Australian was involved in sea trials with his team-mates on Oracle's souped-up AC45 in San Francisco Bay.

Since then Oracle have moved their operations to their Bermuda base at the Royal Naval Dockyard and plan to launch their AC45 next month with Spithill at the helm, even though his recovery is yet to be complete.

“I'll be able to sail the AC45 next month because it's just steering,” Spithill said. “But the smaller boats are so much more physical that I just can't do it yet.”

Spithill, the youngest skipper to win the America's Cup, now looks set to helm Oracle's AC45 at July's America's Cup World Series curtain raiser in Portsmouth, England.

He admits, though, that the road to recovery has been a long one.

“The elbow is good, it's getting better,” he said. “But it's still going too slow for my liking.”

The sight of his team-mates training in the Great Sound this week in their foiling Phantom catamarans hasn't been easy for Spithill whose sole Gold Cup victory arrived in 2005.

“I'm frustrated, especially now that the guys are sailing on the little Phantoms,” he said. “I'm having a hard time with it because I just want to get into it really.”

If it's any consolation, because of his injury Spithill has been spared all of the heavy lifting involved in Oracle's transition from their former headquarters at Pier 80 in San Francisco to their new Bermuda base.

“The timing's been great — I haven't had to pick a tool up or help with any of the packing up in San Francisco or the unpacking here,” he said. “You can tell I've timed it as a man of experience ... I think some of the young guys of the team can look to me and learn something here.”

Oracle, defender of the 35th America's Cup to be held in Bermuda in June 2017, will christen their Bermuda headquarters with a traditional Roof Wetting Ceremony today.

Zooming around: Oracle Team USA sailors train in the Great Sound yesterday in the foiling Phantom catamaran

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published April 24, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated April 23, 2015 at 11:14 pm)

Frustrated Spithill targets return

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon