The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club has just issued a Media Release dated 12 December 2019 titled, “Sailing heavyweights named as ambassadors for Sydney to Auckland Ocean Race 2021”. An edited extract of the Media release is detailed below.

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The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC) in Sydney and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) in Auckland, have named Australia’s most famous sailor, James ‘Jimmy’ Spithill and one of New Zealand’s rising stars, Bianca Cook, as ambassadors for the inaugural Sydney to Auckland Ocean Race 2021…

In 2010, the Pittwater raised sailor joined Larry Ellison’s BMW Oracle Racing and at 30, became the youngest skipper to win the America’s Cup. ‘Jimmy’, as he became known, went on to defend the Cup twice against Emirates Team New Zealand.

In 2013 Spithill and crew came back from the brink against Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ). Oracle Team USA was at a seemingly unbeatable 1-8 deficit, but won the next 11 races to retain the Cup. In Bermuda for the 35th America’s Cup in 2017, ETNZ were on the warpath and exacted their revenge, defeating their nemesis 7-1…

“I’m really honoured to be included with Bianca as an ambassador for the Sydney-Auckland Ocean Race 2021,” Spithill said from Sardinia.

Sydney Auckland Race 2021
Sydney Auckland Race 2021

“I think for a lot of competitive sailors between the two cities, we have flown over that piece of water many times. However, I imagine very few have actually sailed it, or ever had the chance to race Sydney to Auckland. What better chance than now, with the America’s Cup coming to Auckland in 2021?

“Having raced up and down the coast of Australia in the Sydney Hobart and Sydney Gold Coast races, along with New Zealand’s Coastal Classic, both coastlines offer really challenging, tactical racing. Combining a bit of both will make it a really fascinating event, with a great ending of watching the Americas Cup…

Across the paddock, Bianca Cook is a rising sailing star. Ten years younger than Spithill, she has accumulated over 100,000 offshore miles, around 45,000 of those aboard the Dee Caffari skippered ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’ in the 2017-2018 Volvo Ocean Race (VOR).

Since then, Cook, who came up through dinghies and match racing, also joined Stacey Jackson’s all-female crew for the 2018 Sydney Hobart on Wild Oats (Ocean Racing Respect), and finished in an impressive second place overall.

Cook recently announced her next goal is to skipper a boat in The Ocean Race (former VOR) in 2021 and has purchased Turn the Tide on Plastic, the VO65 she knows so well. As part of crew selection and training, the 30 year-old will appropriately sail it in the Sydney to Auckland Yacht Race.

For all details, including entry and Notice of Race for the inaugural Sydney to Auckland Ocean Race 2021, go to the official race website:

By Di Pearson/Sydney to Auckland Ocean Race media.