In the first official presentation of the team since becoming the Challenger of Record for the 33rd America's Cup, CEO and Skipper Russell Coutts announced that Australian helmsman James Spithill will be driving the team's boat in the 33rd America's Cup. The team will continue testing in San Diego until November.
Born in Sydney, James became the youngest America's Cup helmsman with Young Australia in 2000. After winning World and National Youth Match Racing Championships, in 1998 he finished third at the Sydney Hobart and won the Kenwood Cup. In 2000, he was second at the Sydney Hobart. James went on to win the Pedrini Cento Cup (2000 and 2003), the BluRimini Match Race (2001 and 2004), Trombini Challenge Trophy (2002 and 2004). He ranked second in the 2002 – 2003 Swedish Match Tour and won the Nations' Cup in 2003, 2004 and 2005. In 2005, he won the World Match Racing Championship, the Melges 24 World Championship, and the Bermuda Gold Cup. Recent wins include several Grade One match racing events including the Brazil Sailing Cup (2006) and the Trombini and Latium (Rome) match race events in 2007.
In a day celebrating the team's preparations to date for the 33rd America's Cup Match, team owner Larry Ellison encouraged his squad to keep developing the boat to discover the full potential it will take to win the head to head battle with the Swiss Defender.
“We are pushing ourselves to our limit and we're discovering what the boat can do and what we can do as a team,” Ellison said. “If we've done our job well, we'll go out and race this boat and the win the America's Cup.”
Coutts, a three-time America's Cup winner, noted how proud he was of his team's accomplishments to date.
“The America's Cup is an incredible challenge. There are so many factors just to get to the start line. This time is perhaps even more challenging than in recent history. But this is what makes this event so rewarding when you do achieve the goal,” Coutts said.
“It's taken an epic commitment to date from our design team, boatbuilding team, our shore team, our support team and our sailing team. The sailing team is still learning what we have here. Everyone is excited and motivated and we are inspired every day by this unique challenge. Thank you for supporting us and we hope we are back here next year with the America's Cup.”
Coutts and Ellison introduced the team to the 400 guests that included the media, partners and sponsors, team families, local dignitaries and sailing community friends. The public enjoyed the show from the adjacent public area behind the Convention Center.
Following the dockside presentation at the team's San Diego base, a San Diego Harbor Police boat will lead the BOR 90 trimaran in a parade of boats to Point Loma. The replica of the 1851 Cup winner, the schooner America, which gave its name to the trophy, followed astern of BOR 90. The two boats represent 158 years of cutting-edge American nautical technology dedicated to winning the America's Cup, the oldest trophy in sport.