Oracle Team USA have added some local sailing talent to their ranks for the team's first training camp of the new America's Cup cycle after being ridiculed in the past for the antipodean make-up of their crew.
Australian skipper Jimmy Spithill and his compatriot Tom Slingsby - Oracle's new sailing team manager - today introduced their crew who are participating in the Cup defender's training camp in Sydney against challenger of record Team Australia. The only newcomer to the group following last year's come from behind America's Cup victory is 10-time US national champion and 2008 Olympic sailor Andrew Campbell.
He joins Rome Kirby (USA), Australians Kinley Fowler, Rome Kirby, Kyle Langford and Joe Newton, and Kiwi sailor Joe Spooner in Sydney for the training camp.
"I'm excited that we've managed to assemble this group," said Spithill. "Most of the guys were on board for the last America's Cup, so they've been battle-tested and know what to expect. Andrew Campbell joins us as a very talented, motivated, American sailor who has proven he knows how to win in the Olympic classes. I think we have a good combination."
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Campbell, 30, has not previously been involved with the America's Cup and said he is thrilled to be given an opportunity with the defenders.
"The talent level and experience on this crew is second to none. This is a group of guys who have been together through some serious obstacles and they've won the ultimate prize in our sport. For me these first days will be about learning the systems, getting some hours in on the boat and spending time with the guys to form those bonds that are so important as a team," he said.
Oracle will be training in Sydney over the next week. The team yesterday participated in a sparring session in AC45 catamarans with Team Australia, who launched its program with a ceremony earlier in the day.