America's Cup: Shoebridge responds to Oracle obsession with Kiwi team

Emirates Team New Zealand COO Kevin Shoebridge (left) and CEO Grant Dalton before their round robin two match against Synergy (RUS). 2010 Louis Vuiton Trophy Dubai.
Emirates Team NZ Chief Operating Officer Kevin Shoebridge told Newstalk ZB's Tony Veitch the syndicate has always been open about the fact it would struggle this year.

However he says it's determined to stay in the race.

'That's our challenge, we've got to keep working to bridge the gap from now until the end of the year and that's what we're going to be working at very closely over the next few days.'

'We are absolutely committed to this team going forward and putting a very good show in the next America's Cup. We have no intention of folding I'll tell you that right now.'

He says the next two weeks are crucial, and they will keep working with the Government, and on securing private funding.

Shoebridge and CEO Grant Dalton go back a long way to the 1986-86 Whitbread race, when they sailed aboard Lion New Zealand, skippered by Peter Blake. Dalton (27) was a watch captain on his second Round the World race, and Shoebridge (21), a sailmaker, was on his first Round the World race.

Later in the interview, Shoebridge also gives his view of Oracle Team USA's attacks on the New Zealand team via New Zealand and social media, including Jimmy Spithill's hijacking of a radio interview on Thursday arranged to discuss San Francisco and it being eliminated as a venue for the 35th America's Cup. Instead Spithill used the opportunity to make another attack on Team New Zealand and its CEO, Grant Dalton.

'To me it is bizzare. He (Spithill) has an unhealthy obsession with Team New Zealand, how it is managed, how it is funded and what its strategies are,' said Shoebridge. He went on to accuse Spithill of trash-talking the NZ team, and suggesting that Spithill's replacement management team for Team NZ, were all close to Oracle Team USA.

For the full interview click here