The young gun James Spithill is behind the wheel of an America's Cup boat for his third challenge and at the tender age of 27 he is also the youngest helmsman in the event.
In the build up to the 32nd America's Cup the previously all-Italian Prada team were joined by a large contingent of crew with the defunct 2003 challenger OneWorld to form the present Luna Rossa team, with the young Australian at the wheel.

How do you feel Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 13 went?

"Obviously it could have gone better; we made some mistakes and at times conditions were a little tough but I think the guys that finished ahead of us did a good job."

Alinghi seemed pretty unbeatable.

"Especially the way they started a few times. It was one of those regattas where everything went their way but they obviously sailed well too. Full credit to those guys they are still the team to beat."

They have good boat speed.

"They have got boat speed and for the challenger who makes it through, it is going to be tough because they are the benchmark."


In Luna Rossa you've got a whole lot of people who've come in from OneWorld - how has that influenced the team?

"We have brought a few guys over. It was quite good, because we both came from failed campaigns, but we both learned a lot. Bruce [Nelson] came as well on the design side and the two teams meshed together pretty nicely. We don't have any egos or anything like that. It is a pretty good mix."

Racing we've had so far has been in light winds - does ITA 94 like that?

"I think the boat is going pretty well. It is just tough. We have done a couple of informal races against other teams and it was pretty marginal weather then when we lined up - it was offshore breeze and pretty shifty - but I guess we won't really know until we line up, So I think the boat is going fine, but if you look around the fleet there are a lot of guys who are going quite well. If you look at Mascalzone - you only need to make one mistake or miss one shift and you are behind. I think as soon as we get some breeze, there is going to be some good racing."

Your two boats ITA 86 and 94 look quite different - are they different to sail?

"You can tell they are quite different, but they have similar characteristics, depending upon the configuration one can be faster downwind, one can be a little bit better manoeuvring, but they are not that different. One is a little bit wider."

This is Prada/Luna Rossa's third challenge, and at the start of this cycle people assumed you'd be a Louis Vuitton Semi Finalist but over that time you've dropped to third - why is that?

"That is fine with me. I think it has been pretty difficult doing all the Acts. With ITA 74 that was quite a challenge, but we still managed to be competitive and win an Act. Then with 86 we just made a few mistakes out there on the water. We had a chance a couple of times to win Acts. I think Team New Zealand deserve to be the top challenger and BMW ORACLE did a good job to beat us as well. But at the end of the day none of that stuff counts. What counts are the next couple of months. I have confidence in the team. It doesn't affect me how people rank us. I feel good with how we are. Like everyone else we just want to get on with it."

With the change of format for the Round Robins there's likely to be a lot more sailing over a shorter period of time. Does that affect you?

"Not us. We are fortunate we have got a pretty strong sailing team so we are able to do a bit of rotation and I don't think it will affect performance on the water. For us, it is fine. We are ready to go."