Outspoken America's Cup winner Jimmy Spithill has revealed one major and instant regret from Oracle Team USA's defeat to Team New Zealand in 2017.
The Australian won the Cup twice with Oracle Team USA in 2010 and 2013 before losing to the Kiwis three years ago. He has rejoined Italian Challenger of record Luna Rossa for next year's event.
In an interview with Sailing World, Spithill said having a simulator is a game-changer for this Cup cycle ahead of the 2021 event in Auckland, a big misstep by his team in Bermuda.
Team New Zealand were the only base with a simulator in 2017 and Spithill said he "instantly regretted" not having one.
"In the past, you look at just how much time, money and effort goes into getting on the water and sailing in the America's Cup. It's no different this time; we need a crane, a heap of people, chase boats. It's a huge operation, and by the time you get out there, you may get only a few hours of quality sailing," Spithill told Sailing World.
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"In the simulator, we go until we're brain-dead. If you make a mistake on the water, you lose so much, but on the simulator, we can just stop and do it again, setting up different scenarios."
"[I] realised how far behind the rest of us were by not having this tool last campaign, and instantly regretted not pushing harder to develop one then."
Several of the Team New Zealand engineers who developed the simulator are now in Spithill's camp with Luna Rossa.
"The most powerful thing with the simulator is the ability to get results much quicker than in the past and make sure the behaviour of the boat in the simulator is as close to replicating what's actually happening on the water when we're sailing," Spithill added.
Spithill also admitted his Oracle Team USA campaign was too conservative three years ago as they chased a third title. They were thrashed 7-1 in the final by Team New Zealand
"I don't ever let any loss go," he says. "Defeat is nothing but education. We were too conservative [in Bermuda]. Sometimes success can do that to a team. We were going for third win in a row, and it was a trap we fell into that we were not aggressive enough with our approach.
"Their campaign was anything but conservative. Personally, I didn't go with my instincts enough, on or off the water, and we made key decisions early on in the campaign that affected the end result."