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Spithill humble as Team NZ claim victory

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/06/2017

An emotional Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill says it's too soon to contemplate his future following his team's defeat in the America's Cup.

The Australian and his team were on Tuesday unable to repeat the stunning comeback of 2013, instead going down 7-1 to hand Team New Zealand back the Auld Mug.

The famously sharp-tongued Spithill was nothing but humble after his team crossed the finishing line well behind the Kiwis.

"We're obviously disappointed, but full credit to Team New Zealand. What a series. They made fewer mistakes, and they fully deserve it so our hats are off to them," he said.

"They were down there training on their own and you've really got to give credit to them for the incredible job they've done."

Turning to his future, the two-time America's Cup winner looked near tears.

"I've got absolutely no idea," he said.

"I've just spent so much time and energy on, really, just one day at a time. I've just got to thank the entire team and then take it from there," he said.

"The boys have got to hold their heads up high. They fought hard the whole way and I'm very proud of them."

Spithill said Team New Zealand had earned and deserved the right to decide the future direction of the America's Cup.

Despite Team USA's comprehensive lost, Spithill had nothing but praise for the way the regatta on Bermuda's Great Sound had been contested.

"I believe it's been the best America's Cup to date - the racing's been incredible," he said.

"You really have to credit (Team USA owner) Larry Ellison and (team CEO) Russell Coutts as visionaries to put this sport where it is today."

However, he said it was too soon to speak about possible future directions for the Ellison's Oracle-sponsored team.

"We haven't even talked about that. All we wanted to focus on was one race at a time," he said.

"We haven't spoken at all about what the future holds for the team and the guys involved."

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