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Features Australia

Meet the latest Aussie who gets under our skin

The brash and combative <em>Oracle</em> skipper has become the focal point of New Zealand’s collective anxieties

5 October 2013

9:00 AM

5 October 2013

9:00 AM

 Masterton, New Zealand.

Ostensibly it was a contest between Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA. But as the America’s Cup yachting regatta tacked and gybed to its nail-biting conclusion on San Francisco Bay, it had morphed into something else.

The victorious Team USA may have flown the Stars and Stripes and been bankrolled by an American software billionaire, Larry Ellison; but as their boat remorselessly ate into what had seemed an unassailable New Zealand lead, a fingernail-chewing audience of four million Kiwis found it hard to see past the figure of Jimmy Spithill, Oracle’s Australian skipper.

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Karl du Fresne is a writer from the Wairarapa region of New Zealand.

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