Australian 'Pitbull' Spithill still has fight in him

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE IN SAN FRANCISCO
Last updated 09:00 21/09/2013
James Spithill
Getty Images
OUTSPOKEN: Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill has gone on the offensive after Team NZ boss Grant Dalton comments surrounding the new America's Cup protocol.

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Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill can hear your squeaky bums New Zealanders, and he's "loving every minute" of making you squirm over this agonising America's Cup final.

The man they dub The Pitbull was at his brash best as he snared another point off Team New Zealand to drag out this match at least another day.

But he reckons it could go a lot longer than that. In fact, he says yesterday's 31-seconds win now has his team firmly believing they can win this thing.

For the third day in a row Kiwis had to watch an opportunity to win the Auld Mug stay on hold. That was a mix of Oracle's performance and the unco-operative winds that persist in blowing out the racing schedule.

While most people have been writing Oracle's obituary, Spithill has been concentrating on rewriting history with an unlikely comeback that now leaves him still seven races short of glory, compared to Team New Zealand's one.

But asked how he felt about making Kiwis at home and here squirm, not to mention his opponents, he smiled: "I'm loving very minute of it."

And if you believe the red-headed Aussie, his infectious confidence has been passed on to his team-mates.

"Certainly, we believe we can win it now. We've got a great boat and we haven't finished yet.

"We are in quite a different position now. We are confident in our boat and believe we can do it.

"We've been able to improve the performance of our boat to the point where we think now that we are very competitive around the race track. Yes, we can win seven more races."

Team New Zealand maintain they still have the boat, crew and performance to finish the job, with skipper Dean Barker believing the start is increasingly crucial.

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- Fairfax Media

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