Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill believes his profile within New Zealand far outweighs the profile he has in his home nation of Australia.

Speaking to Newstalk ZB's Tony Veitch, Spithill felt that he was a bigger name in New Zealand than in his own country because of New Zealand's fixation on a select few sports, one of which is the America's Cup.

"I think without a doubt [his profile is bigger in New Zealand than Australia], and I think that's no secret," the Sydney-born yachtsman said.

"Australia just seems to be involved in so many sports, really well represented, and I think that's fantastic, especially for kids growing up. I think the flip side is it's probably why New Zealand is so good at a couple of key sports.


"Obviously rugby being one, and obviously the America's Cup. They have been very successful, even if the New Zealand team hasn't won the America's Cup, there has typically been New Zealanders in the winning teams.

"I think because the America's Cup is such a front page deal and the country is so behind it, then I'm not at all surprised about being better known here than in Australia."

Spithill, 38, went on to discuss the difficulties of coping with the loss of Oracle's America's Cup title in Bermuda this year following a comprehensive 7-1 drubbing at the hands of Team New Zealand.

"I think you've got to feel the pain, and you've got to be really honest with yourself," he said.

"You've got to feel the pain because it means that much for a reason. If you're fortunate enough to win, it's almost indescribable.

"If you're on the other end, like we were as a team this time, you've got to really compress that pain as well, because that's what helps motivate you, and helps you learn, and hopefully come back stronger for the next go-around."

Despite Team New Zealand thwarting his aspirations of leading Team USA to successive titles, Spithill spoke highly of the sportsmanship displayed by the Kiwi outfit when they offered to share beers with his men shortly after their third America's Cup victory.

"I think that sharing a beer with the opposing team is really ingrained in Australia and New Zealand sport," he said.


"I always remembered it growing up playing rugby, I remembered it doing some boxing, you'd be trying literally to kill the other guy, and then afterwards, you'd have your arm around the guy and having a beer and you've gone from worst enemies to best mates.

"For me, it was the athletes. A lot of people can talk and say what they want, but especially the guys that go out on the battlefield, there's something special about going in that locker room afterwards.

"Whether you swap jerseys or whether you sit down and have a beer with your counterpart, it's a really fulfilling thing, and I just hadn't seen a lot of it in the America's Cup, to be honest.

"For a lot of the athletes and sailors out there, they're all pretty good mates outside of the Cup, but in my mind, it was showing respect to a great team.

"They were the better team, and it just seemed like all of the guys from Oracle Team USA really wanted to go over and do it [share a beer with Team NZ], and as I said, Grant [Dalton] and the Kiwi sailors on the boat came on down and they really welcomed us, as did their fans and family."

Spithill went on to highlight an example of him befriending a former enemy within the sport of sailing, identifying former Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker as a "good mate" following their tense relationship during the 2013 America's Cup.

"The fact is Dean and I used to race a lot on the match racing circuit, on the World Series, and I had a huge amount of respect for him, he's a very, very good sailor, a really good guy.

"During that time in San Francisco, we were in the fight of our lives, so we were trying anything we could to give us a shot at winning.

"During this last campaign, we ended up pretty good mates and our families as well."