Another great learning opportunity for Oracle
Oracle Team USA are firmly focused on the final event of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series, which takes place in Fukuoka, Japan next weekend.
There is plenty to race for in Japan. The overall leaderboard determines bonus points for the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers next year and the standings will also be a tiebreaker come 2017.
But more than that, the Japan regatta is the final opportunity to race against all of the other teams with points at stake before the elimination rounds begin next year. “Whenever you race, it's a great learning opportunity,” Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle Team USA skipper, said. “You get to go head to head and measure up against all of the other teams. It's been great for us.
“We've done a lot of crew rotation. And we're heading into the final event with a shot to win.”
Oracle Team USA are second on the overall leaderboard, squeezed between rivals Land Rover BAR, who lead the series, and Emirates Team New Zealand, just behind in third place.
With Oracle Team USA coming off a disappointing result in the most recent event in Toulon, France, the team have spent time this week reviewing their playbook ahead of racing in Japan.
“Toulon was a tough one for us,” Spithill said. “For me, I was on the sidelines, so I need to get back up to speed after a longer break.
“So, we've been watching the racing, listening to the on-board audio and analysing where we can make adjustments.”
Spithill believes the margin of error is so small that every mistake gets punished. So coaching and debriefs become a critical path to improvement.
“The team that is the most consistent, that makes the fewest mistakes, will win. It's that simple,” he said.
“The margin for error is so small, and the other guys are good — we've seen everyone win races over this series.
“So, with the final positions at stake and those bonus points for next year there for the taking, it will be all on.”