36th America's Cup: Jimmy Spithill warns people to not be surprised by twists and turns
Watch the next stage of the 36th America's Cup challenge this weekend, as Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team and INEOS TEAM UK are due to be the first to progress into the PRADA Cup final; action is live on Sky Sports Mix from 2am on Saturday, repeated at 9am
By Emma Thurston
Last Updated: 24/01/21 8:41pm
Jimmy Spithill, co-helmsman on Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team, says that the Italian team are fully focused ahead of Saturday's PRADA Cup racing and that no-one should ever be surprised by the twists and turns of the America's Cup competition.
Spithill was speaking ahead of the final weekend of match racing in the PRADA Cup Round Robins. The PRADA Cup is the series that must be won in order for one team to progress into the final America's Cup match against the defender, Emirates Team New Zealand.
It normally features all of the challengers - INEOS TEAM UK, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team, and New York Yacht Club American Magic. However, this weekend only the British and Italian outfits will be competing after the Americans' dramatic capsize in PATRIOT.
The series is split into a set of round-robin races, a semi-final, and a final.
The winner of the round robins will go straight into the PRADA Cup final and at the moment, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team's competitors - Sir Ben Ainslie and INEOS TEAM UK - are in the driving seat.
The British outfit have won all four of their match races, and if they win on Saturday, they will progress into the PRADA Cup final and make Sunday's race redundant.
PRADA Cup - Round Robins Three and Four - Race Schedule
|Saturday, 23 January||Round Robin Three - Race Two||Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli vs INEOS TEAM UK||Live on Sky Sports Mix at 2am and 9am|
|Sunday, 24 January||Round Robin Four - Race Two||INEOS TEAM UK vs Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli||Live on Sky Sports Mix at 2am and 8am|
For Spithill and the Italian team, that equation has narrowed their focus, as the helmsman made clear during the final media day on Friday.
"The goal of the America's Cup is to get fast, and win races," Spithill said.
"We're putting all of our time and energy into that. We don't have to think about the whole weekend, we just have to focus on tomorrow. We're focused on going out there, executing and getting a win under our belt."
PRADA Cup - Round Robins - Current Standings
|INEOS TEAM UK||4||0||4|
|Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team||2||2||2|
|New York Yacht Club American Magic||0||4||0|
"The results do the talking, don't they? So, you have to really take your hat off to the British, but never be surprised in the America's Cup. Change can happen really quickly," he added.
"You only have to look back at that Christmas Regatta, where the teams stacked up then and what the experts and bookies were predicting, now look at it! How much has it changed? I'd say it has been flipped.
"So, never be surprised... things can change really quickly in the America's Cup. On Saturday, all of the focus is on one thing and that is going out there and winning."
Spithill also took the time to highlight that Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team have continued to work incredibly hard on developing their boat in the days since the last set of races.
"It's so difficult to go through all of them [the changes]," he said.
"There's physical hardware that you can see and also there's the development of all of the software and the systems under the bonnet of the machine. It's a continuation and it never stops.
"I can't wait [to race]," Spithill concluded. "I've had some great racing over the years with Ben (Ainslie) and some of the guys who are on his team. It's Saturday, on Course C in the stadium, it doesn't get better than that!"
Enjoy every moment of the America's Cup challenge, live on Sky Sports. Coverage continues with the fourth day of the PRADA Cup on Saturday at 2am on Sky Sports Mix, repeated again at 9am.