Americas Cup skipper: Theres no turning backPosted on
ANNAPOLIS, Md. It was standing room only at the U.S. Sailboat Shows sold-out launch party when Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill came to the stage, fresh off an improbable victory in the 34th Americas Cup.
Greeted with a standing ovation, the Cups youngest helmsman offered his thanks and compliments to a crowd of exhibitors and VIPs. Ive enjoyed the show getting to meet fans and people in the sailing industry but, more importantly, people not from a boating background because, lucky for us, they soon will be, said Spithill, who is 34.
Attendees acknowledged that the latest Americas Cup did much to enhance the sport of sailing and brought the event to a broad fan base. Lauding boss Larry Ellison, Spithill said the success of the event had silenced the critics, adding, Theres no turning back.
But questions of where, when and what for the next Cup remain. We obviously need to get as many entrants as we can, Spithill said. And the No. 1 question is the question of the boat.
Spithill revealed little else, other than to suggest the Americas Cup World Series sailed in 45-foot catamarans would go on. Everyone loved them, even the teams, he said of the AC45s. Wherever theres water, we can take them. And he hinted that the cats could be modified to foil like the AC72s sailed in the Louis Vuitton and Cup races.
Asked about his newfound celebrity he has made guest appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and The Colbert Report Spithill was as cool as he was at the helm.
Its somewhat of an irony, he said. Youre the figurehead, but its really about the team. If there ever was a sport where you needed every single member of a team in the game and not just on the boat but on shore, too this is it.