America's Cup 2021: Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli helmsman Jimmy Spithill commits to another campaign for 'Auld Mug'

Aussie Jimmy Spithill won't walk away from the America's Cup, despite his latest defeat to Emirates Team NZ off Auckland.

The Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli has long been the scourge of Kiwi sailing fans, infamous for masterminding the event's greatest comeback, when he steered Oracle Team USA back from 8-1 and matchpoint down to overhaul Team NZ at San Francisco eight years ago.

But even he was powerless to prevent the home team from defending the 'Auld Mug' this time round, as Team NZ captured a decisive seventh win in the best-of-13 series on Wednesday. 

Spithill, 41, has now contested the last four America's Cup matches and won't be content walking away on this sour note. 

"I love the fight and I love competing," he says. "That's my fourth Cup final in a row for two wins, two losses - I can't leave it there, I've just got to tip it the right way.

"I think the boat's exceeded expectations for everyone. Course C was definitely the highlight - I wish we could have raced more on Course C - that was the only regret.

"But I'm very proud of the team and will definitely try to thank everyone involved."

Course C was developed as the spectator-friendly 'stadium course' throughout the regatta, but was used only once during the final, due mainly to fickle wind conditions and its unavailability during COVID-19 Alert Level 2. 

In their only appearance on the inner-harbour track, the rivals produced the best contest of the series, with Team NZ picking a late wind shift to pass and extend to a 30-second victory.

Just where Spithill will pop up next remains to be seen. He has participated in every America's Cup regatta since 2000, when he debuted as the event's youngest ever helmsman, at 20, aboard Young Australia.

He led OneWorld in 2003, joined Luna Rossa for 2007, guided Oracle to victory over Alinghi in 2010 and defending the trophy in 2013, before relinquishing it off Bermuda four years later.

During the just-completed event, he passed Dennis Connor and Sir Russell Coutts for the most race wins at the America's Cup.