Hey everyone, I'm the skipper of Oracle Team USA, the two-time defending America's Cup champion. We won eight straight races to defend the America's Cup against Team New Zealand last week in SF.

verified twitter.com/jspithill

Comments: 185 • Responses: 53  • Date: 

tm50009 karma

Do you suppose that the 72 could foil with a traditional sail as opposed to a wing?

JSpithill7 karma

Yes, but it would be slower

rminelli8 karma

you mentioned high, fast and beast mode. what did beast mode entail, how was it different from fast mode?

JSpithill10 karma

It entailed the grinders acting like a bunch of wild animals

Defenestratus8 karma

Jimmy, Who the hell was that crazy redheaded Kiwi who kept getting in your face on shore? We were standing right next to you during a dockout show and he shoved my wife out of the way to get up and start beating your chest. Saw him on a press conference video too where he was jawing with you... is he a mate of yours? :P

This dude: https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-I_6E11KcLRI/Uj-mNBLuGMI/AAAAAAAAnak/x4p-7g8E7Kw/w1153-h865-no/SAM_0341.JPG

JSpithill9 karma

Must be one of my many Kiwi fans!

1smokinweed6 karma

What was the craziest change to the boat (in hindsight) that you tried that didn't work at all?

JSpithill3 karma

Rake change

1smokinweed6 karma

Did you switch to more obtuse angled foils during the finals or use the same foils in all 19 races?

JSpithill8 karma

Same foils all 19 races

Defenestratus6 karma

Jimmy, I am friends with a guy who met you at the LAC and won't stop talking about the time he got to meet you. We call him "Man Crush" now. Its pretty funny.

Anyways.

If they go for a nationality rule, will you take advantage of the fact that you're married to a smokin hot American woman and get your citizenship here so you can race for us again? (PLEASE!?!?!?!)

JSpithill10 karma

Whatever it takes

lichelle125 karma

Hey Jimmy ... I am not interested in sailing, but am now after watching the cut throat race with ETNZ - I was on the edge of my seat shouting at the TV!!! I cried when we lost ... Do you see/socialise with Dean when you are in NZ?

JSpithill7 karma

I'm not expecting a Christmas card

JSpithill5 karma

Sorry, was on a subthread. Let's go!

yellowfin356 karma

No reason to be sorry, it gave us over in /r/AmericasCup early notice about this AMA!

JSpithill3 karma

Happy to help!

EVK45 karma

During one press conference, someone asked you about your ritual the night before races. Without missing a beat, you said that you and Ben were going to hit the clubs that night and then you immediately mentioned some club. That was funny but it came off your tongue too easily. Admit it, you and Sir Ben Ainslie go club-hopping all the freakin' time, right?!?

JSpithill5 karma

How could you not? We live in SF! Haha.

cargousa4 karma

Your boat seemed much more stable on the foils than ETNZ. Many times you could see them hobby horsing along while you were nice and stable and smooth. Was it human skill or just an engineering difference?

JSpithill3 karma

It was hard work

sopacmilkrun4 karma

Seems like the only position on the 72s open to a girl would be driving. Do you think we will see that or a rule change to bring more gals into the mix?

JSpithill5 karma

There are plenty of awesome female athletes out there. One name that comes to mind is Anna Tunnicliffe

sopacmilkrun4 karma

You participate in some higher risk activities like flying upside down and SUPing between islands. Did you have any restrictions in your employment contract?

JSpithill12 karma

Yes, but I don't usually follow them!

kitemare4 karma

What was your fastest recorded speed on the AC72?

JSpithill10 karma

47 knots

kitemare4 karma

What is your favorite small boat to sail? Has this changed since you crossed over to the dark side and joined the multihullers?

JSpithill9 karma

The Moth. It gets better and better!

chalupa20134 karma

I heard your sister is a great match racer...think she can still take you?

JSpithill4 karma

She'd hammer me but never get the chance!

tm50004 karma

when you say more high performance boats in the usa junior sailing. what boats would you suggest?

JSpithill3 karma

Skiffs

JSpithill4 karma

OK. My car is here. Really leaving now. Thanks again for all your support!!

tm50004 karma

what was the benefit of swapping to the short spar?

JSpithill2 karma

Less windage

kitemare4 karma

What are the backgrounds of the engineers who worked on your design team?

JSpithill2 karma

Aircraft industry, marine industry, really came from all over

kitemare4 karma

Is there video from on-board the boat during the pitchpole? Any chance of getting a bloopers reel like after AC33?

JSpithill3 karma

No. No video from that. We lost all the GoPros. If they have washed up on a beach, let me know!

Nilswood4 karma

What were you thinking when you realized you had the New Zealand team beat in the final race?

JSpithill5 karma

It really wasn't over until we crossed the line

andrethecat3 karma

Do you think that you would have benefited from racing in the Louis Vuitton Cup?

JSpithill3 karma

Yes.

EVK43 karma

Any chance you are going to enter 17 in the Three Bridge Fiasco?

JSpithill1 karma

I hope so!

1smokinweed3 karma

Were the rudders or foils asymmetrical between port and starboard?

JSpithill1 karma

No

JSpithill5 karma

But we thought about it

Taldzrin3 karma

Any chance you will sail for Australia in the next cup?

JSpithill0 karma

Who knows?

Bkwormftw3 karma

How does your family deal with your crazy schedule? Esp kids

Also, any sight on brazil 2016?

JSpithill2 karma

No sights on Rio. If you try to do everything, you do nothing well.

ozchrisb3 karma

How would someone go about getting a job at Team Oracle?

JSpithill0 karma

Check out the website

chuck6193 karma

Do you remember the first moth you bought and who you sailed with?

JSpithill0 karma

It was called the Blade Rider. With my dad and my sister

charleslitton3 karma

As far as I can tell, Dean Barker is one of the most stand up people around. True? What were your impressions of how he handled his team? How he handled going from 8-1 to 8-9? Have you spoken to him?

JSpithill3 karma

We haven't spoken since after the last race and thanked him for the battle and told him I looked forward to the next one.

antonofranton2 karma

Doubt must have creeped in for the whole team, but you were always so positive. Was it difficult to keep the team focused on the positive during the beginning of the races or was it never a question?

JSpithill-2 karma

It wasn't tough at all. They never flinched.

annemurraymint2 karma

How are you feeling about your newfound celebrity? The AC34 really does has catapulted OTUSA into the public conciousness for maybe the first time in AC history (certainly in recent history anyway). You, out of all the guys, seem to be revelling in it and are a great ambassador for the sport but how are you planning to maintain the momentum between now and AC35?

JSpithill2 karma

We have to take it in stride and when you work hard, good things happen

chrisvls2 karma

Thanks for an incredible race -- please let Larry E. and everyone on the team know that you are a huge inspiration for my boys, ages 8 and 11, who are just getting started sailing and racing . . . which leads me to . . .

What advice would you give an 11-year-old who starts in the Richmond jr. program -- walking by Kostecki's jr. laser trophies ;) -- next week?

JSpithill4 karma

When you train hard, good things happen. Good luck to your boys!

chalupa20132 karma

Will the Youth Cup continue in AC45s or similar for AC35? Will the process get easier for youth to get involved? Will this get added in so other defenders keep this part of the program going?

JSpithill1 karma

Definitely. The Red Bull Youth AC is a great program.

JSpithill2 karma

Hey everyone. I have to catch a flight but this was fun! Really appreciate the comments from you all!

chalupa20132 karma

I posted on other thread but curious about Kinley's motivational speeches...can you tell us more?

JSpithill3 karma

I wish, except they involved Kenny Powers, and this is a family website, right?

kitemare2 karma

In your opinion what kind of budget figure should the rules be targeting for AC35?

JSpithill6 karma

More importantly, the fact that TV networks want to buy AC sailing content is a huge step in supporting the team budgets.

antonofranton2 karma

There was a comment on the telecast talking about making a rule that would require the boat to have a certain percentage of crew from that country, your thoughts?

JSpithill6 karma

I think people should be on the boats based on talent, not the color of their passport

jessica612 karma

Many congrats! Do you think you will you be taking part in any other competitions between now and next Americas Cup? Thanks.

JSpithill2 karma

Definitely. Not just sailing. Kiting, SUP racing and some golf.

annemurraymint2 karma

Bit of a cheeky question... Are you doing any public appearences in NYC? I only ask because I got Sir Ben to sign my program last week in SF and didn't manage to get yours in the madness after the win...It would be great to have both (and I live in NY).

JSpithill1 karma

Just did a bit of media and have to head out now. But it's a great city!

yellowfin352 karma

Did you get a chance to see/race any of the boats for the 18′ International Skiff Regatta while it was in San Francisco?

JSpithill1 karma

No, although I saw them out while I was kiteboarding

marksnyd2 karma

Huzzah! =)

JSpithill1 karma

I figured it out!

kitemare2 karma

If the ACWS moves forward do you think you can fleet race foiling multis... would make for a crazy first mark rounding

JSpithill1 karma

Definitely!

DanDierdorf2 karma

First off: Congratulations! Wow, what a comeback that was. I live in the SFBA, so this event was definitely on my radar. Drive by the Oracle towers twice a day.
Those boats looked to be pretty scary, maybe just a bit too much, both from safety and cost views.
Any indication which direction the next event will take? Keep the Cats, but maybe a bit smaller? Coming back to SFBA? Congratulations again, suspect you aged a couple of years during this campaign. It was a tough one. Edit: Can I get a ride? Please?

JSpithill2 karma

Yeah, I hope we keep it all and bring costs down.

chalupa20132 karma

Do you see a distinct difference in the paths of junior sailing in the US versus AUS/NZ? What are they doing that we aren't? Any advice for parents of kids that like to sail fast?

JSpithill3 karma

There need to be more high-performance boats in the US junior sailing system

charleslitton2 karma

'Nuther question: What was it like on the boats, what was the physical sensation? Could you feel the speed? Or was it like a really well made car where you can go fast but not sense it? Could you hear anything or was the wind noise too much? Was the platform stable or vibrating?

JSpithill1 karma

Oh yeah we can feel the speed. It's like being in a hurricane.

chalupa20132 karma

Hi Jimmy! Any chance you'll be at the Moth Worlds? Is everything other than foiling a little boring, now? Can't go back?

JSpithill0 karma

Maybe will be. Heading to Hawaii soon for some kiteboarding. Can't go back now that we foil.

kitemare2 karma

Can you explain the idea behind having the boards so far forward on your first AC72? Were you surprised how quickly Artemis got their AC45 up on foils?

JSpithill3 karma

I was really impressed at Artemis bouncing back at what they went through

kjtuckley2 karma

The AC was spectacular and did the impossible by making sailing look great on TV. What would you like to see happen to ensure that we see this kind of racing on a more regular basis - more AC world series?

JSpithill2 karma

Thanks! Yes. More AC World Series

antonofranton2 karma

I vote for Greatest Sports Comeback of all time. Congratulations to all the team! Can you give us some insight into how the shore crew modified the boat during the races to make it so freaking fast? And who are those most responsible?

JSpithill2 karma

Thanks! The biggest change was the technique of the sailing team, but no question at all the shore guys worked their asses off.

chalupa20132 karma

What about the starts? Do you like the reaching starts better than conventional?

JSpithill2 karma

Yes, Reaching starts were better.

depleteduraniumftw-17 karma

How much did Larry pay the New Zealand team to let you guys win?

JSpithill6 karma

It came down to the final race in a fair Final