February 4, 2014 / 3:38 AM / 5 years ago

Skipper Spithill to bid for America's Cup treble

Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill (L) waves to the crowd after defeating Emirates Team New Zealand during Race 16 of the 34th America's Cup yacht sailing race in San Francisco, California September 23, 2013. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australian Jimmy Spithill will bid for a third successive America’s Cup at the helm of Oracle Team USA after turning down offers from foreign challengers.

The youngest skipper to win the world’s oldest sporting trophy, Spithill led the challenger “USA” to victory in 2010 at the age of 30 and helped the team successfully defend last year with a sensational comeback victory against Team New Zealand.

Spithill had been wooed by Australian challenger of record for the 35th America’s Cup, Hamilton Island Yacht Club, but said he owed it to team principal and software billionaire Larry Ellison, and CEO Russell Coutts, to remain.

“There were some very good offers out there, but at the end of the day, Russell and Larry, I wouldn’t be here without them,” Spithill said on Team USA’s website (oracle-team-usa.americascup.com).

“Being a part of the team when we first won in 2010 and then to be able to get back to back wins and now to have an opportunity at a third, it’s been an amazing ride.”

Team USA hope the 35th America’s Cup will again be sailed in San Francisco bay, and have earmarked August 2017 for the regatta.

Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by John O'Brien

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