Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithall has called off the second scheduled America’s Cup race today following one of the crew members spilling a glass of Moet over his shirt during the first race, which Oracle lost by a margin of 1 minute and 5 seconds to Team New Zealand.
“It was a hugely traumatic event for the whole crew,” Spithall told journalists following Oracle’s decision to play their wild card to postpone the race. “John Kostecki, our tactician, had only just poured his second glass of Moet when a freak gust of wind caught him off guard. The glass toppled over onto him and ruined his new silk shirt and completely traumatised the entire team.”
Kostecki, who was visibly shaken by the spillage, struggled to contain his emotions during the press conference, “I just can’t believe we lost a glass of Moet. I… I feel so responsible. As soon as the glass tipped you could feel the entire morale of the crew drop. We were leading Team New Zealand at the time and suddenly the guys had to take their eyes off the race to make sure they didn’t spill their glasses either. Jimmy was really good about it, he jumped off the wheel to come over with a napkin to try and mop up the spilled champagne, and he even offered me his glass, but by then it was too late. I was inconsolable.”
Team New Zealand, while disappointed that they couldn’t get another win under their belts while Oracle was down in the dumps, understood how troubling such a spillage could be.
“It’s a hugely difficult thing to deal with as a team,” Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker said. “We might only have Lindauer Special Reserve onboard our boat, but we’d be pretty distraught if any of the guys spilled their drink during a race. I nearly knocked my glass over once when going around a buoy, but I managed to catch it just in time, but the team was pretty shaken up by that.”
Oracle have also announced that their design team will be creating champagne glass holders that won’t tip over during future races, while Team New Zealand have confirmed they too are responding to the risk, though they won’t make design changes, instead each crew member will simply drink straight from their own bottle instead, “just like a Friday night in central Auckland.”