Jimmy Spithill Photographer Credit:Lukas Pilz/Red Bull Content Pool
Jimmy Spithill and Ben Ainslie won the America’s Cup together with Oracle Team USA in 2013 – and they’re now racing against each other. An alliance turned rivalry they discuss on camera ahead of the America’s Cup World Series on the Lake Michigan this weekend
In 164 years, it’s the first time a freshwater venue hosts America’s Cup racing: the oldest sporting trophy in the world is stopping in Chicago, Illinois, with the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series on June 10-12.
Six teams – defending champion Oracle Team USA, Land Rover BAR for Great Britain, Emirates Team New Zealand, Artemis Racing for Sweden, SoftBank Team Japan, and Groupama Team France – will compete in the race, vying for points that count towards the final competition for the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda in 2017.
Spithill, the skipper of Oracle Team USA, has won the Cup twice: in 2010 in Spain, and in 2013 in San Francisco. Ainslie was his tactician. Since then, the four-time Olympic gold medalist has founded his own team, Land Rover BAR.
“Ben is an awesome sailor, you know,” says Spithill in a video interview available HERE. “Him and I actually went head to head in our campaign, really competing for the same job and ultimately, ironically, started working and sailing together in the America’s Cup.
“He’s got a great team. He’s got some of our design engineers and one of our athletes from our last team, so he will be a force to be reckoned with.”
“I really enjoyed sailing with Jimmy,” says Ainslie. “I think I learned a lot from his approach and now racing against him that’s good, understanding a bit what his strengths are and a little bit perhaps what his weaknesses are as well – if he has any!”