America's Cup skipper Spithill tries stand up paddleboarding

AP Photo/Oracle Team USA

AP Photo/Oracle Team USA

Always up for a challenge, America's Cup champion Jimmy Spithill will trade the thrill of speeding across the waves of San Francisco Bay aboard his high-performance catamaran for the hard work of paddling from one Hawaiian island to another.

It'll be just Spithill and his board — and 32 miles of open water — in the Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships on Sunday.

The 34-year-old Australian definitely will have to downshift from the catamaran, which can sail faster than 50 mph, to paddling at 4 to 5 mph.

Spithill jokes that he won't have the help of the big grinders who turn the winches on the America's Cup boats but is eager to push himself in a sport he and some fellow Oracle Team USA sailors took up a year ago.

America’s Cup

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