Regarding Spithill achievement on the AC being a sportive one, I don't think so. In fact at the time I said that I did not believed that all those straight victories, after the Oracle boat have being out-sailed consistently by the NZ boat, had to do with nothing but with anything that was introduced in the American boat regarding foil control, something that the NZ boat didn't have.
Today I know that I was right, so, given the big difference that created on the two competing boats Spithill, that is a top sailor, had no trouble in beating the NZ team, but it was not a fair fight nor a big sportive achievement.
This had been accepted by the jury and the Oracle team said with a lot of hypocrisy that the NZ team, instead of filling a protest should have developed a similar system. of course they forget that they presented the system to the jury in August giving no time or chance to the NZ team to develop something similar since they were busy racing winning the right to be the defying team and the main races with oracle were just days away.
For maintaining fairness the jury should have refused that system presented almost at the beginning of the main event: The races between the defender and the challenger.
It was not Spithill that have beaten Dean Barker but that hydraulic/electric system that only they had.
With all due respect, when you know you have a speed disadvantage in match racing, then you have to resort to a different strategy to win. And this is where I think Spithill deserves credit... or perhaps, Dean Barker deserves somce criticism. If you are ETNZ and you suddenly realize your competitor is faster, you need to get extremely aggressive to draw penalties and force the comeptition to make mistakes. Either Barker wasn't aggressive enough, or Spithill (and Ainslie / Slingsby) did a superb job of not picking up fouls or making mistakes. My 2 cents.
But, as I said, it was just an example and the AC isn't my cup of tea anyway. And let me add that I've got nothing against recognizing Olympic dinghy sailors as ISAF sailors of the year - e.g., Scheidt and Ainslie both deserved that recognition, given the magnitude of their achievements in that venue. But both of those sailors are at the top of the sport regardless of what they're sailing - e.g., Scheidt in Stars, Ainslie in AC45s (and just about everything else he jumps aboard). But totally agree that ISAF doesn't have its act together in general, perhaps because it doesn't have access to the big $$$ that auto racing and football do (and other international sports we could mention - e.g., FIBA).
BTW, any sighting of the Pogo 3 which was supposed to be on display at Paris Nautique? I can't find any reference to it on the PN or Structures' sites, and Googling for photos comes up with nothing other than 3D renderings.