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Oracle ready to get back to work

Training run: Oracle will be back out on the Great Sound today (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Oracle Team USA will resume training in their foiling AC45S catamaran in the Great Sound today.

The American defender’s test boat has remained in the boat shed for the past few weeks as the team took a short summer break after producing a podium display at last month’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth.

The AC45S is an integral part of Oracle’s testing and design programme for the America’s Cup Class boat they will defend the ‘“Auld Mug’ in next June 2017. Oracle are expected to launch their America’s Cup Class boat in January.

Oracle, the first team to defend the America’s Cup in neutral waters by choice, presently trail Land Rover BAR, the British challenger, by a single point in the overall World Series points standings.

“We always have our eye on the overall series rankings,” Andrew Campbell, the team tactician, said.

“So, to come in here and pass Emirates Team New Zealand and to be just a single point back from the lead is a good thing.

“We’ll come back from this break nice and refreshed and get right back into our testing in Bermuda.

“The takeaway from Portsmouth is that we’re sailing well, but we need to come in to these events a little bit sharper.

“We’re happy with the event in Portsmouth. We went out there for the double point races on the last day and posted a 2-1-1 to move up to second in the event.

“The guys sailed really well and started much better. Everything becomes much easier when you have good starts.

“The conditions featured big variations across the two days. We seem to be more comfortable in the stronger winds, which is more like what we sail in when we’re home in Bermuda, so we know we have to work on being stronger in the light.”

After last month’s World Series in Portsmouth, Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle skipper, had surgery on his left elbow to repair a damaged tendon and is now on the road to recovery.

“It’s very similar to tennis elbow,” Spithill said. “It’s been a problem for me for about six months now and we tried to deal with it with physiotherapy and cortisone shots, but with no real improvement, surgery seemed the best option.”

The surgery was performed by Dr Robert S Bray Jr and Dr Andrew Bulczynski of DISC Sports and Spine Centre in Marina del Rey, California, who also performed surgery on Spithill’s right elbow following the 2013 America’s Cup.

“Considering the incredible physiological strains placed on the athlete by such high-performance boats, it’s amazing that Jimmy was able to perform at an elite level despite his torn tendons. Now, with both elbows repaired, he will come back even stronger,” Dr Bray said.

Spithill hopes to resume racing with his Oracle team-mates at the next World Series event in Toulon, France from September 9 to 11.