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America's Cup flyboys with Oracle Team USA sign technology deal with Airbus

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SAN DIEGO — Defending America's Cup champion Oracle Team USA has signed a technology partnership with Airbus, giving its design team access to engineers and other experts from the aircraft manufacturer.

The deal, announced Thursday, excites skipper Jimmy Spithill, who earned his pilot's license after Oracle built a radical wing sail for its monster trimaran before the 2010 America's Cup.

Spithill says the deal should give Oracle a competitive edge as it looks to retain the Auld Mug in 2017.

Spithill calls it "a perfect fit. We both fly; we fly above the water. We both build wings."

The 72-foot catamarans that sailed in the 2013 America's Cup were powered by wing sails and rose up on hydrofoils and skimmed above the waves.

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