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Spithill looks ahead to New Zealand: "We're still in the hunt for the Grand Final"

by Laura Muma & Miranda Bailey 17 Mar 06:33 GMT 18-19 March 2023
USA SailGP Team helmed by Jimmy Spithill on Race Day 1 of the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix in Sydney © Felix Diemer for SailGP

U.S. SailGP Team welcomes Cameron "Cam" Farrah trialing as Strategist

Jimmy Spithill said the team is still in the hunt for a coveted place in the three-boat, winner-takes-all Season 3 Grand Final coming to San Francisco in early May, insisting, 'There are still a lot of points available'.

First up, however, is the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch, the penultimate event in the Season 3 calendar. Speaking at a press conference ahead of this weekend's racing, Spithill reflected on the trials and tribulations of the U.S. team throughout this season. These have seen the Americans veer from the lows of an eighth-place finish at their home event in Chicago, to the highs of securing an event win in Saint-Tropez.

As a result, the U.S. SailGP Team is, "One of the few teams that have shown we can actually win this season," Spithill said.

He pointed to the amount of crew rotation of the U.S. team this season, which has included the absence and return of former flight controller Rome Kirby, and admitted the amount of disruption has been both 'planned and not planned'.

However, Spithill has been clear since the beginning of the season that a primary goal has been to build depth in the team roster, especially as SailGP continues to grow in both number of events and level of competition.

Case in point, Cam Farrah, an up and coming multihull sailor who is making her mark in the A-Class Catamaran fleet, has joined the American squad this weekend and will be trialing in the strategist position.

From Destin, Fla., Farrah has been rising through the ranks of the competitive singlehanded class of A-Class Catamarans. Recently graduated from Tulane, she raced at the university and has been part of the Olympic development team on the Nacra 17.

She can't wait to join the team, saying, "It is a dream come true to represent the USA on one of the coolest boats in the world, especially coming from a foiling catamaran sailor background."

Admittedly, her ramp-up time will be cut short as practice racing has been canceled for Friday due to the forecasted wind conditions.

Despite the shortened training schedule, Spithill is optimistic the team has a fighting chance of securing a place in San Francisco's Season 3 Grand Final May 6 - 7. But, he also knows its best to focus on one race at a time.

"We just need to string together some consistent races [this weekend] and get ready to come out firing in San Francisco," he said. "Who knows what could happen - things can change really quickly. There's still a lot of racing to go and with the penalty system, any time there's damage or a collision, there's a lot of points that can be lost very quickly and a lot can change."

Going into Christchurch, the team currently sits in sixth-place overall, nine points behind France in third and 24 points behind season leader Australia.

The ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch takes place on March 18 & 19, with racing beginning LIVE in the United States via SailGP YouTube at 10 p.m. EDT / 7 p.m. PDT Friday and Saturday.

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