ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill has praised the work done by those behind the scenes to ensure his side are ready to defend their America’s Cup title.
The Americans are the current holders of the Auld Mug – the oldest international sporting trophy – having sailed to glory in San Francisco two years ago.
But despite the fact they are guaranteed to compete in Bermuda in 2017 in defence of the trophy, Spithill believes he possesses the best shore team in the competition.
He said: ‘I know we have got the best shore team here – there is no doubt in my mind.
‘Their preparation, attitude and level of detail mean the boat is immaculate and ready to go.
‘We are pretty excited and ready to get out there and get on with the racing.’
A feature of the build-up to tomorrow’s first day of competitive racing in Portsmouth has been the friendly rivalry between Spithill and former Oracle team-mate Sir Ben Ainslie.
Ainslie will lead the home charge on the Solent for Land Rover BAR.
His mate has welcomed the challenge and is predicting fireworks – provided the wind gets up.
He said: ‘We all get along pretty well and enjoy each other’s company but on the water just hold your head under if you can – there’s no pulling of punches!
‘It’s pretty aggressive on the water and if there is wind then we will see some serious action.’