Spithill: 'We're the underdogs'




© Guilain Grenier / ORACLE TEAM USA © Guilain Grenier / ORACLE TEAM USA


ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill introduced his race crew on Tuesday afternoon, hours after learning his regular wing trimmer would be ineligible to sail in the America's Cup through an International Jury penalty.

Spithill's 11-man crew is a mix of experienced and young sailors. The race team is planning to have at least two more training sessions before the America's Cup Finals begin on Saturday.

"We've got four days to get organized," Spithill said. "We're going to get our two boats out there tomorrow (Wednesday). Now we know who we can sail with. We'll probably sail one boat on Thursday and we'll decide afterwards about whether we go out on Friday."

Spithill says this is a challenging situation for the defender, who now finds itself as the underdog.

"There's no question in my mind that Team New Zealand are the favourites here. We're in an underdog position now," he said.

"To only know four days out from the first day of the America's Cup who your race crew is? Nobody plans it that way. It's far from ideal."

But Spithill says he thinks his team is up to the challenge.

"We have to go out and win races," he said. "We have to get out there and take one race at a time. That doesn't really change."

That sentiment was echoed by his counterpart at Emirates Team New Zealand, Kiwi skipper Dean Barker.

"The (Jury) decision changes nothing for us," Barker said. "I think it’s good the matter is out of the way and we can get on and go racing."

The ORACLE TEAM USA race crew, as introduced by Jimmy Spithill on Tuesday:

James Spithill, Skipper/Helmsman
Shannon Falcone, Grinder
Rome Kirby, Grinder
John Kostecki, Grinder/Tactician
Kyle Langford, Wing Trimmer
Jonathan Macbeth, Grinder
Joe Newton, Jib Trimmer
Gilberto Nobili, Grinder
Tom Slingsby, Grinder/Strategist
Joe Spooner, Grinder
Simeon Tienpont, Grinder