Bundock in the coach boat
Oracle Team USA has announced that despite a relatively poor result in Venice, it will continue its crew rotation for the America’s Cup World Series in Newport, R.I., with Russell Coutts returning to helm boat No 5.
“The rotations are fundamental to our long-term plan of building a really strong in-house racing program to be ready for the 2013 America’s Cup,” said skipper Jimmy Spithill. “Newport will be a fantastic event, and it will be great to see the America’s Cup back in town.”
Saying this, Spithill's crew will revert to its original line-up with wing trimmer Dirk de Ridder and bowman Piet van Nieuwenhuijzen, who both sailed with Spithill for the first four events, return to Spithill’s boat in Newport where they’ll rejoin tactician John Kostecki and trimmer Joe Newton.
“We’ll be going there to try and wrap up the season,” said Spithill. “That’s been our goal and it’s obviously something we’d like to win. I think fans in Newport will really enjoy the AC45s, and everyone’s genuinely looking forward to it.”
Championship racing at ACWS – Newport is scheduled for 27 June-1 July. In the season championship, Spithill currently holds a 4-point lead over Emirates Team New Zealand. Third-placed Artemis Racing of Sweden is 13 points behind.
After having skippered the first two ACWS events last year in Portugal and the UK, Coutts handed the helm to double Olympic medalist Darren Bundock for San Diego, Naples and Venice. Coutts re-joined the crew as tactician in Venice, and now returns to the dual skipper/helmsman role with Bundock resuming his previous coaching role. New face on board will be Matt Mitchell who joins Coutts, Kyle Langford (wing trimmer), Simon Daubney (headsail trimmer) and Simeon Tienpont (bow). Another new face, Sam Newton, will alternate with Tienpont during practice racing.