Please select your home edition
Edition
Sailingfast 2018 2 728x90

Jimmy Spithill will drive for Australia SailGP Team in Dubai

by Ciara Wylie 30 Nov 2023 19:39 GMT 30 November 2023
Jimmy Spithill, CEO & driver of USA SailGP Team, speaks to the media alongside Tom Slingsby, CEO and driver of Australia SailGP Team, in a press conference ahead of the Spain Sail Grand Prix in Cadiz, Andalusia, Spain © Bob Martin for SailGP

Two-time America's Cup winner and former United States SailGP Team driver and CEO, Jimmy Spithill, will replace Tom Slingsby in the Australia SailGP Team at the Emirates Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas on December 9-10. Slingsby will miss the Dubai event to be with his wife, Helena, for the birth of their first child.

One of the most recognisable names in professional sailing, Sydney-born Spithill will compete for Australia for the first time since 2001, bringing to the Australian team a champion pedigree harnessed over two decades of experience racing at the highest level.

Speaking about his friend and former crewmate, Australia SailGP Team driver and CEO, Tom Slingsby said: "Jimmy is a legend of our sport. He's a natural leader who brings the perfect blend of race smarts, aggression and composure out on the water.

"Despite a shaky start in Dubai in Season 3, we were able to achieve some pretty remarkable things there with our comeback victory, and I'm really keen to see what Jimmy can deliver using his previous experience racing in SailGP with the Aussies next weekend."

The announcement coincides with the news of the sale of the United States SailGP Team and future prospects for Jimmy Spithill, as revealed in the latest episode of the SailGP docuseries, Racing On the Edge. The United States Team has been purchased by information and technology investor and founding Uber engineer Ryan McKillen, Margaret McKillen, and two-time world champion sailor Mike Buckley. They are joined by a diverse group of investors representing the sport, technology, entertainment and media industries.

Spithill said: "Not only is this sale great for the United States team and US sailing, it's given me the controlling interest in entering an Italian team on the start line for SailGP Season 5.

"To take the US Team from last place to become a winning team on and off the water, and go through the process of completing the sale to an amazing group of investors led by Ryan Mckillen, is very satisfying and I look forward to applying what I learnt to Italy."

"I can tell you, from first-hand experience, competing in Italy, and competing for Italy, they have the most passionate fans, amazing iconic venues, and some of the best athletes in the world coming through the ranks. It's a very exciting time", Spithill added.

On officially steering the Flying Roo, Spithill said: "It's an honour to step in for a good mate and drive for Australia. This Team has been the absolute benchmark since SailGP started, I have personally raced and worked with a lot of the Team, and I'm really looking forward to learning and racing with the most consistent squad in SailGP.

"When Tom approached me I was stoked but I did jokingly tell him my one condition, which is that he needs to name his first child Jimmy. My goal is no different to past races with the USA SailGP team: go out, race hard, stay consistent, and hopefully be in a position on Sunday to make the final."

Spithill made history by becoming the youngest skipper, at age 30, to win the America's Cup in 2010, and again in 2013, where he led what is widely acclaimed as one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history. In 2014, Spithill received the prestigious Rolex World Sailor of the Year award, cementing his place as one of the most decorated sailors in the world.

The Australia SailGP Team is currently sitting top on the leaderboard of the Season 4 SailGP Championship. The team will return to home waters for the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix I Sydney in February 2024. Tickets are on sale now for the not-to-be-missed event of the Australian summer at SailGP.com/Sydney

Related Articles

Australia take first win of SailGP Season 4
First ever SailGP race win for Erik Heil's Team Germany Tom Slingsby and his Australian crew have been crowned champions of the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix I Sydney, flying home in front of an ecstatic and vibrant 'Genesis Island' crowd and a jam-packed Sydney Harbour to clinch the win. Posted on 25 Feb
Aussies tied on top with Denmark at Sydney SailGP
Exciting start with gusty conditions that tested the athletes Tom Slingsby and his Australian crew have delivered for the home crowd at the opener of the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix, securing a solid second place but on equal points with Nicolai Sehested's ROCKWOOL Denmark, who takes the top spot. Posted on 24 Feb
SailGP's ten teams descend upon Sydney Harbour
Anticipation builds across the fleet With just one day remaining until the highly awaited KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix takes place on the picturesque waters of Sydney Harbour, anticipation builds across the fleet as the most exciting racing on water looks set to live up to its name. Posted on 23 Feb
SailGP's elite athletes warm-up for racing
With the Royal Australian Navy on Sydney's Bondi Beach Physical training instructors and trainees from the Royal Australian Navy welcomed a cohort of SailGP world-class athletes to Sydney with a navy-inspired training session on the iconic Bondi Beach Posted on 22 Feb
Slingsby lays down the gauntlet
To next generation of SailGP stars in latest Racing on the Edge SailGP will return to the iconic waters of Sydney Harbour next week for its eighth stop in the Season 4 calendar. With only one week to go, the hometown favorite is ruffling feathers in the latest episode of Racing on the Edge. Posted on 15 Feb
SailGP Impact League expanded
New judges bring unique insights and strategies to evaluate sustainability and inclusivity SailGP has today announced an exciting expansion of its judging panel for the groundbreaking Impact League - sport's first podium for the planet - with the addition of esteemed judges from the world of football and motorsport. Posted on 13 Feb
SailGP adopts Women's Accelerator Program
Accelerating the development of SailGP's future female leaders SailGP, a global leader in purpose driven and sustainable sport, and its Exclusive Financial Solutions Partner, Apex Group, have today launched the league's first ever Women's Accelerator Program. Posted on 7 Feb
The Future of the F50 - T-Foil Development Video
Set to replace the current L-Foils in SailGP Season 5 Set to replace the current L-Foils in Season 5, the T-Foils were designed to improve the performance and control of the F50s at high speeds. Posted on 25 Jan
Mubadala Abu Dhabi Sail Grand Prix Full Highlights
Tricky conditions, contentious calls and the first champion of 2024 Abu Dhabi's light winds challenged crews like never before, but it was Peter Burling's New Zealand which thiumphed over the USA and Spain to secure back-to-back wins in the UAE. Posted on 15 Jan
Mubadala Abu Dhabi Sail Grand Prix Overall
New Zealand SailGP Team crowned champions of the UAE with back-to-back wins MUBADALA ABU DHABI SAIL GRAND PRIX PRESENTED BY ABU DHABI SPORTS COUNCIL // FINAL STANDINGS // Posted on 14 Jan