Jimmy Spethyl’s eyes sparkled, and the two-time Copa America champion’s voice was tenacious. “We live to fight another day. Let’s start over, I hope it continues now,” said rival captain Luna Rossa.
The Australian player Auckland is in the 36th duel of the oldest sports cup in the world against defending champion Emirates New Zealand with his back to a wall. Spithill and his Italian team lost on Tuesday the hugely hot and contested ninth race and now have four successes in a row. The score was 3: 6, and the “Kiwi” had at least one hand over “Silberkan” and two match points early Wednesday morning.
New Zealand, the sailing nation, is looking to win the trophy for the fourth time in the competition’s 170-year history after 1995, 2000 and 2017 – but it is precisely this attitude that pits a competitor like Spithill. Especially since he had already freed himself from a more complicated situation: in 2013, in one of the biggest comebacks in sporting history, the 41-year-old, as captain of Oracle Team USA, turned an 8-1 deficit against San Francisco into a 9th victory. -8-. New Zealand plunged into the Valley of Tears. Spithill and his co-driver Francesco Bruni will do everything to ensure history repeats itself.
“The intermediate result does not matter”
Spithill said, “You’ve already reached this point. You can’t look forward much. The intermediate score doesn’t really matter. The only thing that really matters is the next race.” Back at the dock, he didn’t feel “any negative energies” in his team.
The Challengers refrained from psychological maneuvering in the direction of “Kiwi” leader Peter Burling, because the respect for each other was too great, as Spithill said, the “bull” biting at times.
Since the start of the regatta, both sides have witnessed thrilling eye-level dueling, and on Tuesday New Zealand achieved its third consecutive success after several changes in leadership. Due to the inconsistent winds, the tenth duel and thus a possible decision had to be postponed to Wednesday. The race committee said in a short time: “The breeze has shifted dramatically to the left, and unfortunately we cannot redesign the track in time.”
Luna Rossa started another training session, then went ashore and immediately started preparing for the next meeting. From now on, everything should be a good fit for Spithill and Co.