Speaking over the weekend, ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill says his team can't let up on its development push following the launch of its second AC72.
"Quite simply, we've got to develop the fastest 72 on the Bay and we have to keep this process going," he said. "I think we'll be doing this until the last race of the America's Cup. We'll be doing everything we can to keep modifying, keep improving, and that's what's great about this team. We have a proactive build team and engineering team. You give them a challenge and they grab it with both hands and run with it."
ORACLE TEAM USA launched its second AC72 one week ago and had it up on foils on its maiden sail. The boat has been in the shed since then as the team serves a Jury penalty that restricts it from sailing an AC72 for five days. The American defender can return the 72 to the water on Wednesday.
In the meantime, Spithill says he's looking forward to seeing all three challengers sailing on San Francisco Bay. While Artemis Racing has been training out of Alameda, both Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa Challenge have been based in Auckland, New Zealand. But that's all about to change as they relocate to the America's Cup venue this month.
"For us, it will be fantastic to have a couple more boats out on the Bay," Spithill said. "We look forward to lining up against them. We've been doing a little bit of work with Artemis and that's been really beneficial for both of us. Right now, I think it's too early to say who is a threat. Until we line the boats up on the water we won't really know.
"But as far as our sailing team goes, we've got to take a lot of confidence from our results in the America's Cup World Series," he continued, enjoying an opportunity to needle the opposition. "The other teams haven't been able to deliver which would be quite concerning for them."
ORACLE TEAM USA crews have won all three of the 2012-13 match racing titles at the America’s Cup World Series and in Naples, Tom Slingsby finished what Spithill started, winning the fleet racing season championship for the team.
Spithill did have one piece of friendly advice for the newcomers to San Francisco Bay - don't underestimate how quickly you run out of room when you're sailing at 40+ knots.
"The thing about the Bay is how small it is in these boats," he said. "You don't have the luxury of just running for miles if you get in trouble or you need to sort something out. It can happen very fast here. But they've spent a lot of hours on their boats, they'll adapt quite quickly and pretty soon I think it will become pretty crowded out there."