Spithill says 'We're still on steep side of the development slope'

photo: ACEA 2017 / Photo Ricardo Pinto

photo: ACEA 2017 / Photo Ricardo Pinto

After two long days on the water to open the latest race period, ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill expressed satisfaction at his team's performance. 

Although the team only completed one full race on Tuesday, there were plenty of extracurricular opportunities to line up and complete valuable tests.

"I think we've put in more hours than anyone over the last couple of days and we've had some really good racing," Spithill said.

"It's taken a huge effort from the shore guys to be able to do that, so our hats off to them."

Spithill says the racing provides an opportunity to get in pressure situations on the race course and learn about what works - and just as importantly, what doesn't. 

"We're learning a lot about different race situations now. All the teams are racing hard and we're trying to learn as much as we can from that. So the past two days have been very valuable, even with limited racing."

As the opening races of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers approach on May 26, the team is experiencing the classic America's Cup battle between allocating more time to design and development versus allowing the sailing team time to learn how to sail the boat at maximum efficiency.

Spithill says it's not time to commit fully to either scenario yet. 

"It's still a balance, I think. We tried to lock a few design things down for the past couple of days, but we're still heavily into the development curve. There's a lot of stuff we want to do and need to do still.

"But on the flip side, I think as a sailing team we still have a heap to do to sharpen up, so getting these hours in has been very valuable."

The forecast for the rest of the week is for much lighter conditions, which may impact the training schedule.

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