He may be the youngest skipper in history to win the America's Cup, and have dozens of match racing titles to his credit, but not even Jimmy Spithill can leave the circuit for two years to focus on multihulls and then return to monohull match racing and expect to sweep the competition.
Yesterday, he and his team raced to a 3-3 record, good enough for equal fourth place in the 10 boat fleet with three matches remaining.
Although Spithill was a little bit frustrated with the results on day one, he says he's happy with the process of sharpening his skills on the RC 44 Tour against some of the tap sailors in the world - think Ray Davies (ETNZ), Terry Hutchinson (ex-ETNZ, Artemis), Paul Cayard (Katusha, Artemis), to name just a few. Not to mention a certain Russell Coutts and Larry Ellison.
"It was a little disappointing yesterday but on reflection I feel good about it. We just have to sharpen up a little bit. The level here is quite high. Of course you want to jump back in at the level you were at when you left, but it's going to take a little bit of time," he said before leaving the dock this morning.
"The bigger thing for us is relearning the match racing and all of the moves. I think we're doing a good job between JK, Philippe (Presti) and myself of learning from our mistakes. I'm excited about today."