Jimmy Spithill has returned fire at Kiwi sailor Matt Mason, accusing him of lacking sportsmanship following his controversial comments after the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.
Mason labelled Spithill as "desperate for a win" after Spithill's LDV Comanche boat was awarded the Sydney to Hobart title, following a protest against original victors Wild Oats XI.
Mason, a crewman on Wild Oats XI, claimed the two sides had bad blood after the incident, which saw Wild Oats XI have their line honours and record finishing time stripped.
"We're obviously shattered. We broke the record and we're going to lose that. We reckon Jimmy's getting a little bit desperate for a win. But, anyway, he can take that, that's cool," said Mason.
The protest - lodged after a near collision between the two boats at the start of the race - was upheld, with Wild Oats XI receiving a one-hour penalty.
As a result, their 27-minute margin of victory over Comanche was wiped away, with Spithill's boat earning victory.
Spithill said he had "a real problem" with Mason's comments, and felt obligated to defend himself.
"It's just really disappointing to see Matty come out with a statement like this," Spithill told Radio Sport.
"I hope he's not representing that team with that statement.
"If at any time someone out there tries to have a crack or put a negative spin on any of my team-mates, my grandfathers have taught me that you stand your ground and you don't back down."
The incident is not the first time Spithill has had a public disagreement with a New Zealand sailor. The Oracle skipper traded several barbs with Team New Zealand during this year's America's Cup, and was eager to respond to Mason's viewpoint.
Spithill said the protest could have been avoided if Wild Oats simply did a 720 degree turn following the incident - a manoeuvre which would have absolved them from any retroactive punishment.
"To stay out of the protest room, you could have done a 720 degree turn - it would have taken all of a minute-and-a-half, and none of this would have been in the protest room. The protest room is the last place we wanted to be."
Mason claimed the incident was a 50/50 call, to which Spithill rebutted that Wild Oats should have taken the precautionary penalty turns to avoid any drama.
"I think the incident wasn't 50/50. If you ask me and anyone else in the sailing world, it was almost a sure thing that they had broken a rule.
"To throw all that on the line and take a 50 per cent chance of risk and not do your penalty turns - that is just mind-blowing for me.
"They had an opportunity to do it; they had an opportunity to exonerate themselves."
Spithill claims Wild Oats XI owner Sandy Oatley and skipper Mark Richards were respectful in defeat after hearing the jury verdict, but Mason lacked class.
"Ultimately, a champion team shows sportsmanship in good times and bad times, and that's exactly what Sandy Oatley and Mark Richards showed following that.
"They accepted it with honesty, humility, they were very respectful of the jury and the decision. Of course they were disappointed, but they were humble.
"It's just a shame to see Matty not follow the same lines."