Jobson Meets Spithill
Part 3 of 5
From an America's Cup winning tactician to a winning skipper. ISAF Vice-President Gary Jobson caught up with ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill at the end of 2013.
Click here for Part 1.
Click here for Part 2.
Part 4 of 5 will be available on the ISAF website on Tuesday 14 January 2014.
"So I understand that you took some flying lessons. Did that help you understand wings, foils, aerodynamics?"
"Definitely. I actually took the flying lessons, got my license when we did the wing on the trimaran. That wing on that trimaran was the biggest wing ever built in the world. Aircraft Aerospace. Everything. 230 feet. Massive. Doesn't fit under the Golden Gate Bridge if we were to sail the boat there. It's a huge bit of kit. I just figured, look the best way to learn about wings is to get a pilot's license. I had a break. I had a couple weeks off at the time and I thought okay down to Australia and I sort of went to this sort of little country air strip and learned with a couple of great guys. We went up and everything. I said I've only got two weeks. We have to go up every day in this little, tiny two seaters Cessna. It was straight away, it was amazing how similar it is to sailing. It's all about lift, drag, balance. A well set up plane is very easy to fly. Just like a boat that is well set up, it's easy to sail. Get your head out of the boat and look around and you're not fighting the boat. The same with the plane.
"It was amazing to see how many people in sailing have their pilot's license. Tom Schnackenberg, Russell Coutts, Larry Ellison. I could go on and on and on. I'm really fascinated by it. The next one on my list is the helicopter. It sort of reminds me of these boats that you've got so many things going on at once. The flying, yes, I love it. It's an amazing thing out there and certainly the technology."
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