“As tough as it is to make mistakes or experience defeat, in a team environment it's one of the best ways to find out who you want next to you on the battlefield. Champions and champion teams use adversity as an opportunity to be candid, learn and comeback stronger.”
Jimmy Spithill made history by becoming, at age 30, the youngest skipper to win the America's Cup, but his sailing success goes far beyond that. The Australian native is one of the most decorated sailors in the world.
He won his first race at age 10, with his eight-year-old sister as his crew, and he was later named Youth Sailor of the Year. That victory was just the first of many to come.
Spithill continued winning more races, with many predicting he would one day achieve great things. A steady rise through Australian sailing onto the world stage followed. He debuted in the America's Cup as a skipper at age 20 with Young Australia, becoming the youngest helmsmen in the revered race's history, and then had stints at the helm of the Oneworld, in 2003, and Luna Rossa Challenge in 2007.
In 2010, Spithill made his mark on the sailing world by becoming the youngest-ever winner of the America's Cup, as helmsman and skipper of BMW Oracle Team 90. "It was relief and ecstasy, like a huge weight came off my shoulders," he says about his 2010 win.
Three years later, in 2013, Spithill led one of the greatest sporting comebacks ever, as Oracle Team USA came from 8–1 behind to overcome Emirates Team New Zealand 9–8 to claim his second America's Cup victory.
Named the Australian Male Yachtsman of the Year more than once, Spithill has several world titles to his name and has even got into stand up paddleboard racing, completing the legendary Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard World Championships in Hawaii. But sailing is still his main passion.
Spithill is an Australian yachtsman with an impressive array of victories under his belt. Born in Sydney, 28 June 1979, the eldest of three children from a sailing family, he grew up on the waterfront and has been sailing since the age of 5.
In 1998, Jimmy took first in the Kenwood Cup, and over the next two decades he continued to rack up the first-place finishes. In 2000, he was the youngest helmsman in the America’s Cup, and in 2010 became the youngest skipper to win the Cup. During the 2013 America's Cup, Jimmy led his team to what has been called the greatest comeback in international sport. His Oracle Team USA was down 8-1, before rallying for eight consecutive wins to defeat Emirates Team New Zealand 9-8.
When he’s not training, Jimmy takes a keen interest in flying (he’s flown with the Blue Angels, the Red Bull Flying Bulls, and holds his Private Pilots Licence). He is also an accomplished amateur boxer and has done two Molokai to Oahu SUP crossings.