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BOOK REVIEW

Chasing the Cup By Jimmy Spithill (with Rob Mundle) Review by Steve Morrell

W

hile reading this book this fall, I was asked by an old friend what I was reading. I answered, “Do you know who Jimmy Spithill is?” He replied that he did. My friend was somewhat into sailing and had watched the cup races in recent years, absorbed in them ever since the big foiling cats raced in 2013 in San Francisco. If it was 1995—the year that New Zealand won the Cup in San Diego—and I had asked anyone who the skipper of any one of the America’s Cup boats was, I doubt that anyone, including myself, could answer that question. Jimmy Spithill not only made history as the youngest captain to win the Cup, but also as the captain of the winning boat when the foiling cats made big-time history that year in San Francisco. And then there’s the comeback he skippered during that remarkable series in the finals. Jimmy Spithill was in the right boat at the right time. This book tells the story.

Chasing the Cup starts off with Spithill telling his story from childhood when he first started sailing in Australia. Reading about his youth, you understand why he became a good racing sailor. He dreamed of winning the cup since those young years. Brought up in a middle class family who moved out of the city to a piece of waterfront property in a back bay not far from Sydney, Jimmy—nine years old—and his sister started sailing on a small boat that was taken from a trash pile. From then on in, his future was sailing. But what grabbed my interest right in the beginning (page one, in fact, so I am not spoiling anything) was that Spithill was born with one leg two inches shorter than the other, and one foot three sizes smaller than the other. Surgery at a young age helped solve the shorter leg concern,

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A free, printed sailing magazine reporting on sailing in the southeast U.S: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missi...

Southwinds December 2017  

A free, printed sailing magazine reporting on sailing in the southeast U.S: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missi...