Slingsby sticks with Oracle
Friday 15 Nov 2013 12:09 p.m.
Oracle Team USA's Cup winning strategist Tom Slingsby, left (AAP)
With Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton currently in Europe testing the waters with sponsors and the possibility of another tilt at the Auld Mug, there have been some interesting moves from the defender.
Oracle Team USA's Cup winning strategist Tom Slingsby has told Sail-World.com he's re-signed with billionaire Larry Ellison's team for another defence, and indicated he has no current plans to defend his Olympic Laser gold medal in Rio.
Many had picked Slingsby as a potential skipper for the new Australian challenge – the Challenger of Record for the 35th America's Cup.
Bob and Sandy Oatley, the money behind the Australian team, had indicated they'd like to see a nationality rule brought back to the Cup, but Slingsby's decision to stick with the American team could be an indication that is unlikely to happen.
That wouldn't be too much of a surprise considering Oracle relied on a multinational crew, with a sole American onboard for their comeback victory over ETNZ in San Francisco.
Interestingly, Slingsby's Oracle teammate and fellow Aussie Jimmy Spithill has yet to confirm who he will be sailing for in the next regatta. Spithill also told Sail-World.com he's had interest from a number of challengers, and expects to make a decision in the next couple of weeks.
So with Slingsby out of the running, could Spithill helm the Australian team?
Spithill first foray into the world of the America's Cup was sailing in Auckland with the Young Australia syndicate in 2000, so he has sailed for his country before.
But despite his two Cup victories in 2010 and 2013, one thing he hasn't ticked off the bucket list yet is win the Louis Vuitton Cup, something he can't do as defender.
Even with that in mind, it's still unlikely Spithill would walk away from Oracle – or that Ellison would let that happen.
The third cog in Oracle's afterguard, Sir Ben Ainslie had given himself a deadline of the end of October to find finance for a potential British challenger.
While nothing has been announced, Team NZ have indicated they will have to wait until the Protocol for the next Cup is released, sometime early next year, before deciding on whether another New Zealand challenge is viable.
Ainslie could be in the same boat, or the man widely regarded as the key to Oracle's comeback might return for another defence.