- Learning from mistakes
- Rebounding from loses
- Challenges & adversity
- Goal setting
James “Jimmy” Spithill grew up on the water in Elvina Bay, Australia, with no road access. The only way to get to school or the mainland was by boat. He started windsurfing at the age of 5, and when he was 9 his father found an old abandoned wooden 2-person dinghy which they restored. Using this boat, he won the first race he entered at age 10, together with his younger sister Katie.
He spent many years on the Match racing circuit and One design fleet racing and won multiple World Championships in both disciplines. His first Sydney to Hobart was the infamous 1998 race on Ragamuffin and following a few more attempts, he won line honours on board Comanche in 2015 and in 2017, breaking the race record at the same time in the latter.
At 19 he became the youngest America’s Cup skipper helming Young Australia in 2000. At 30 years old he became the youngest skipper to ever win the America’s Cup on board the 90 foot trimaran USA17 and in 2013 his Oracle Team USA team successfully defended the Cup by defeating Emirates Team New Zealand 9-8 after coming back from 8-1, in what has been described as the greatest comeback in international sport.
During the 35th edition of the America’s Cup he skippered and helmed the Oracle Team USA boat to win the Louis Vuitton Qualifiers, but was ultimately beaten by Team New Zealand.
He is now based in Sardinia with Luna Rossa, who he helmed in Valencia during AC32 in 2007, for what will be his 7th America’s Cup campaign.
When not training with the team, Jimmy takes a keen interest in flying (he’s flown with the Blue Angels, the Red Bull Flying Bulls and holds his Private Pilot’s License). He is also an accomplished amateur boxer and has done two Molokai to Oahu SUP crossings.
- Flew with the Blue Angels
- Rode the Laguna Seca race track on a Moto GP bike
- Went round the Fontana race track in an Indy Car
- One of only a few people in the world to have completed a forward roll in a helicopter
- Competes in CrossFit
- Kiteboard racing
- World Championship Paddle boarding races
- Obtained Private Pilot’s License in Oct 2009
Speaking Engagements Clients’ Testimonials
Head of Regional Commercial Bank – TD Bank
“It was great to have you join our conference. The feedback was great and consistent as the team enjoyed your views on leadership and team building.”
“..everyone thought Jimmy was a dynamic, high energy speaker who related his many challenges and victories to those we face in Corporate America. He was fantastic.”
Member of the Airbus Executive Committee, Airbus
“I also want to warmly thank you for the great message you sent by video for our recent team event, the Airbus D Sailing Cup. It visibly energized and motivated really everyone during this three days event and reached even far beyond! The way you drew parallels between the challenges of the top world sailing competition and our high tech industry concerning required team spirit, mindset, resilience, belief in success and trust in capabilities of each individual were striking! I couldn’t add any word to your speech! You can’t imagine the surprise on everyone’s face to see the iconic Jimmy Spithill show up at our event! The numerous feedback I received afterwards just confirmed how strongly you impacted their minds and hearts (as many are sailors in their leisure time) and how privileged they felt. Your video speech with your clear, simple and authentic messages continues to spread across and keeps on mobilizing and motivating the 22 000 employees of the Industrial Community at Airbus! Jimmy, your achievement as a Team Captain and a sportsman is outstanding and impressive, we all feel proud to be engaged in our partnership with ORACLE TEAM USA!”
Talk to the US Sailing Olympic Team in NY
“Thanks again for taking the time to do that. It was really really well-received, and your message to the athletes was spot-on. Many of them told me later how genuine it was and how helpful.” Managing Director, Harken
“Jimmy Spithill was asked to speak about leadership at our annual Harken World Conference. He was the perfect choice: sincere, candid, legitimate and insightful. There are very few people who can be both driven and also consistent teaching leadership by example and creating an environment of excellence. He left us both informed with real insights and inspired.”
Planning and Strategy, Ironshore Insurance
“Please pass on our appreciation to Jimmy for a job extremely well done. He was thoroughly entertaining and did a great job tying his sailing experiences back into the challenges our industry is facing. This was a great way to kick off our partnership and we are looking forward to more good things to come.”
Head of Strategic Operations, Ironshore Inc.
“I would echo Grant’s note – Jimmy was fantastic! Everyone loved it – he was a big hit and all afternoon I heard how great his presentation was.”
CFO, Ironshore Insurance
And I “triple” that sentiment. Great times ahead and thanks again to Jimmy. program would not be of the caliber it was without the amazing insight provided by you and the other special guests. I hope you enjoyed your time with the participants as much as they enjoyed their time with you. Please let me know if you have any feedback about the program. I hope we get to work together again in the future.”
Attendees from a TEDx Airbus Conference
“The talk of Jimmy was great with videos. I had the opportunity to talk with Jimmy after his talk. Very accessible.”
“Jimmy Spithill was very inspirational.”
“Jimmy Spithill’s I found inspiring.”
“I followed very closely the American Cup last year and it was very interesting to hear Jimmy talking about his experience with the Oracle team. It is amazing how inspiring this type of issue (boat break) can be to Airbus project Management.”
“The video from Jimmy was very interesting.”
“Jimmy Spithill, oracle team should be an example of proper management even after a management crisis.”
“Jimmy: the challenge was so amazing.”
“Jimmy Spithill and how to achieve against the odds (important in Airbus)”
VP Marketing, Big Heart Pet Brands
‘.. a sincere thanks for an incredibly inspirational and educational presentation. Many folks volunteered it was the best – motivational’ talk they have attended’
Executive Communications & Strategy, GAP
‘Jimmy did an amazing job and was definitely the highlight of the meeting. The topics he covered in his talk really resonated with the rest of the speakers and the audience said after they really got a lot out of his perspective. Please let Jimmy know how much I enjoyed meeting him.
Group Account Director, True acting for Vodafone NZL
“He was really great and my client is very happy.”
Head of Consumer, Acumen Republic
“OMG – we’re all just a little bit in love with Jimmy – what a star. He’s fantastic and we’re thrilled with how everything went this afternoon. Even the sun came out.”
Director of Marketing, Core Brand Marketing, Pepsico Canada
“… Jimmy was amazing.”