Note: With the second AC World Series San Francisco fast approaching (Oct. 2-7), we’ll be previewing the teams that’ll be competing in the lead-up to racing.
Crew: Jimmy Spithill (skipper/helmsman), Dirk de Ridder (wingsail trimmer), John Kostecki (tactician), Joe Newton (headsail trimmer), Jono MacBeth (bowman)
ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL is as close to an unbeatable crew as you get in the AC World Series fleet. The quintet led by skipper Jimmy Spithill doesn’t win every race, but they’re always in the mix and never counted out.
Spithill’s crew won the August AC World Series San Francisco fleet racing championship by 1 point, the closest margin yet of the seven ACWS regattas. They also placed runner-up in the match racing championship, to teammate ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS, by 1 second, also the closest margin of the ACWS.
With Bay area native Kostecki calling the shots during the August regatta, the crew showed great resiliency fighting back the (few) times they were deep in the pack.
“I can’t emphasize how much the boys fight around the whole way around the track,” Spithill says of his crew. “That’s the sign of a great team, one that can come back after a bit of adversity. We had a very ordinary start (in the fleet race finale) and some issues on board, and the boys just kept working away at it.”
Prediction: Spithill’s crew has been on the podium in both the fleet racing and match racing championships of the past three regattas, and they’re as sure a bet as there is to be there again this week.