America's Cup: Did Spithill's tweet go too far?

By Dana Johannsen

Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill has raised eye-brows with an aggressive and offensive tweet ahead of today's sixth day of racing in the 34th America's Cup match.

Spithill tweeted an instragram photo of a message apparently posted on the team's noticeboard which read, "There's no I in just beat the f*****s". The photo has since been deleted.

The tweet (amended in this photo) was deleted by Jimmy Spithill - but not before it had been retweeted by several of his followers.
The tweet (amended in this photo) was deleted by Jimmy Spithill - but not before it had been retweeted by several of his followers.

In a regatta that tries to promote itself as a "friendly competition between nations", the tweet appeared poor sportsmanship at the very least.

Stephen Barclay, head of the America's Cup events authority, this morning said he had not seen the tweet, but would look into it.

"I love the fact the athletes tweet and interact with the fans, it's great.

From time to time in all sports, I don't think we're any different, they're going to go a little bit on the edge," he said.

"As I said I haven't seen it, I'll have a look at it and I might need to have a talk to him."

Just as heart-rates had returned to normal following yesterday's dramatic day on the water, we're set for another day of America's Cup racing in San Francisco.

The conditions on the race course are looking extremely challenging for the two crews, with the breeze on the Bay expected to be much higher than the 17-20 knots that had initially been forecast.

With a strong ebb current reducing the effective wind limit to 21.8 knots for the first race and 22.4 for the second, it is likely we might see another day disrupted by weather conditions.

If the race committee does manage to get the races away, the teams will be in for a stern test of their boat handling abilities. With the wind going against the tide the sea-state will be challenging.

While the weather disruptions are frustrating, regatta director Iain Murray stressed the wind limits are in place for a reason.

The wind limit for the regatta was initially going to be 33 knots, but was reduced to 23 knots for the America's Cup match in the wake of Artemis Racing's tragic capsize back in May. Murray said while he understands the frustration from fans at having to terminate yesterday's race 9 early on the third leg, he is not convinced the wind limit should be increased.

"On the wind limit yesterday we saw Team New Zealand nearly capsize, so I would need a little bit of persuading as to why there should be a change," he said.

Team New Zealand's near-capsize in race eight handed Oracle their second win of the regatta.

The 52-second victory was important for the defender as it put them back at square one. Oracle Team USA had been saddled with a penalty imposed by the international jury that prevented it from scoring points until after its first two victories.

- NZ Herald

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