Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

America’s Cup skipper: ‘There’s no turning back’

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — It was standing room only at the U.S. Sailboat Show’s sold-out launch party when Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill came to the stage, fresh off an improbable victory in the 34th America’s Cup.

annapolis21011

Greeted with a standing ovation, the Cup’s youngest helmsman offered his thanks and compliments to a crowd of exhibitors and VIPs. “I’ve 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 America’s 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, “There’s 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 America’s Cup World Series — sailed in 45-foot catamarans — would go on. “Everyone loved them, even the teams,” he said of the AC45s. “Wherever there’s 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.

“It’s somewhat of an irony,” he said. “You’re the figurehead, but it’s 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.”

Related

Sudbury Names Martin Flory Group Agency of Record

The Peabody, Mass., boat-care products company has hired the public-relations firm to enhance market positioning of the company and its subsidiaries.

Technohull Opens New Shipyard

The Greek high-performance RIB manufacturer moves operations to a purpose-built,129,000-square-foot facility.

Yamaha Rightwaters Supports N.Y. Oyster Restoration

The Billion Oyster Project in New York Harbor aims to bring back bivalves to the mouth of the Hudson River and one of the country’s busiest harbors.

Zeelander Names New CEO

Marine industry veteran Grant Hooper is appointed CEO of Zeelander Yachts.

AIM Marine Group Hosts Meet the Editors Event

More than a dozen editors from Active Interest Media’s Marine Group participated in the day-long, information-sharing event.

Fairline Makes Leadership Appointments

The British luxury boatbuilder founded plans to chart its course for the future with a new CEO and the return of Derek Carter as chairman.