Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill has revealed his surprise at Team New Zealand's decision not to train on lay days, reserve days and other days off during the failed America's Cup last year.

Spithill told Paul Henry on TV3 last night that his team had also been surprised at the Kiwis' decision to agree to both teams having a rest day, when Team NZ were ahead 7-1 in the first-to-nine contest. That proved to be the turning point in the campaign and led to one of the biggest comebacks in the history of sport.

Spithill said he would hear comments from the New Zealanders such as, "We've put every single thing in. We've left everything out there."

He said his team had worked very hard and laid down everything they had.


"We sailed every single day from the start of that competition to the end of the competition. We put everything out there. It surprised me, it really did, that they [the New Zealanders] weren't out there on some of those days."

Spithill's comments come after Team NZ skipper Dean Barker told the Paul Henry Show this week that he and the crew were not consulted about the lay day agreed to by team chief Grant Dalton, which he said had been a crucial mistake. A team representative later insisted there had been consultation.