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Spithill eager to notch first win

Flying high: Jimmy Spithill, the skipper of Oracle Team USA, aims to win his first World Series event in Bermuda next month, having grabbed a third and a second in Portsmouth and Gothenburg

Jimmy Spithill and Oracle Team USA are going all out to make a big statement when the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series takes centre stage in Bermuda’s Great Sound next month.

The defender of the “Auld Mug” has produced three podium displays thus far, claiming third at last month’s series opener in Portsmouth and more recently second in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Spithill, the youngest skipper to win the America’s Cup, now hopes to go one better and claim that elusive victory at next month’s event on home waters.

“For us, that’s probably going to be the most important event to date,” Spithill said. “We really want to try and win the ‘home’ event and we will be doing everything we can.

“We had a third in Portsmouth, a second in Gothenburg and it seems right to do another one and take the win in Bermuda. So we will certainly be doing everything we can to perform then.”

Oracle dominated the opening day of racing in Gothenburg, claiming back-to-back victories in 12-14 knot breezes to set the early pace.

But the defender’s victory hopes were dashed as they failed to come to grips sailing in the lighter breezes that greeted the fleet on the final day of racing, when points were doubled.

“We really have to go to work on the light-air performance,” Spithill said. “It’s simply not good enough. “Second race, we had a good lead but our technique wasn’t good enough to really allow us to hang out there in the lead.

“But that’s fine. That’s why we are here; we are learning and we will go back and work with Phillipe [Presti] our coach and try and make a few steps before Bermuda.”

Oracle sit in third behind Emirates Team New Zealand and Land Rover BAR in the America’s Cup World Series table. The New Zealanders claimed victory in Gothenburg, with Sir Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR capturing the Portsmouth series.

The Bermuda leg will be held from October 16 to 18, with Emirates Team New Zealand, Land Rover BAR, Oracle Team USA, SoftBank Team Japan, Artemis Racing and Groupama Team France looking to put more points on the board that carry forward into the next stage of the competition.

Overall ranking position in the World Series determines the starting points score of the teams in the Qualifiers in 2017.

The next World Series event will enable local race fans to experience the thrill of watching AC45F foiling catamarans racing live and will also be the first opportunity for people around the world to see the high-tech, one-design multihulls showcased in Bermuda.

“If we can get some breeze I think the locals will be blown away with the racing,” Spithill said. “I think the locals will really love it and get a real kick out of it.

“It’s real spectator sailing and we can’t wait to showcase it all. Then they will have a taste of what the America’s Cup is about.”