Spithill Swaps Two Hulls for a SUP and a Wingsail for a Paddle.

If ever there was a case for a sailor to get new representation it is James Spithill. The guy has all the makings of a sports superstar, but the folks at ORACLE Racing can’t seem to get it right when it comes to presenting the Australian as anything other than a corporate spokesman.

When PUMA Ocean Racing got Juan K on board to design a SUP board with the help of stand up paddleboard legend Laird Hamilton, the SUP world was pretty interested. Perhaps it was the Laird X Factor or perhaps it was PUMA‘s sports marketing savvy.

Here then is an opportunity for James Spithill to be more than just the bloke who drove the trimaran in the last America’s Cup. Here is an opportunity for ORACLE Racing to talk about something other than ‘Liveline’ and promote someone other than Stan Honey.

The story according to some PR person goes like this:

ORACLE Racing skipper Jimmy Spithill today took part in a paddleboard contest off Takapuna Beach in New Zealand. The State Beach Series is run on Tuesday nights over the course of 16 weeks for kayakers, swimmers, paddleboarders and beach runners.

Spithill last fall took delivery of a new PUMA paddleboard, and today was his first race on the black board with red octopus tentacles.

The stand-up paddleboard fleet included the likes of JP Tobin, New Zealand’s representative in the RS:X windsurfer class at the London Olympics this summer, and Annabel Anderson, the Kiwi who is the worlds’ No. 2-ranked female paddleboarder.

With a southeasterly wind blowing around 8 knots and a slight chop, the conditions were fairly rough for the three-lap race around a triangular course. Spithill completed the course despite a wet night.

The best quote that they could find from James was:

“I had a little trouble standing on the board and counted eight swims. But it was an awesome experience.”

James deserves better.


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