Where's Larry? Oracle chairman stays silent as Jimmy Spithill puts Team USA to work
Larry Ellison and Sir Russell Coutts have been conspicuous by their absence from the spotlight during the first two days of the America's Cup match.
But rest assured both Oracle Team USA's billionaire backer and the Kiwi sailing guru will be playing integral roles over the next five days as the defenders try and run down Team New Zealand.
Ellison has been virtually unheard-from since the opening ceremony of the regatta last month. And, while Coutts gave several interviews throughout the challenger series, the powerful pair have been silent while watching Jimmy Spithill and co slump to four-straight losses to fall 3-0 behind in the first-to-seven series.
With Team NZ the only syndicate not to sign up to Oracle's framework agreement that lays out the future of the America's Cup, there is immense pressure on Spithill not only to retain the Auld Mug, but to ensure Ellison and Coutts' plans do not go out the window.
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* Spithill admits Team NZ has the faster boat
Speaking at the post-race press conference on Sunday (Monday NZ time), Spithill said he did not have a chance to speak to Ellison immediately after losing race three and four but was confident he still had the full support of the Oracle chairman.
"Larry was a big reason for the last comeback (in 2013)," Spithill said.
"He never lost faith in the team. He believed we could come back and get it done and I've got no doubt that's exactly what he's thinking right now."
In his role as team CEO, Coutts was just as instrumental in San Francisco four years ago as Oracle fought back from a 8-1 deficit against the Kiwis to win 9-8.
One of his biggest calls was to replace tactician John Kosteck with Sir Ben Ainslie, which ultimately proved to be a masterstroke.
Ainslie, of course, is no longer with Oracle having gone on to lead the British challenge.
And while Coutts has moved on from the sailing operations to take a more administrative role at Oracle and head up the America's Cup Events Authority, given the enormity of the situation you can be sure the former Team NZ skipper will be offering all of his expertise as Oracle search for ways to make their boat faster.
They have five days to find an answer before racing resumes on Saturday (Sunday NZ time).