Amer­ica’s Cup dream put to bed by Coutts

Five- time win­ner says event needs fresh blood as he throws him­self into projects New York chal­lenger great news for Cup A20 Coutts changes tack

Weekend Herald - - NEWS -

Sir Rus­sell Coutts has con­firmed he’s un­likely to be in­volved with fu­ture Amer­ica’s Cups fol­low­ing Or­a­cle’s de­feat to Emi­rates Team New Zealand in Ber­muda ear­lier this year.

The Amer­ica’s Cup win­ner — three as helms­man and two as Or­a­cle chief ex­ec­u­tive — is back in New Zealand but has no plans to be in­volved in fu­ture edi­tions, in­clud­ing the 2021 event likely to be in Auck­land.

“I don’t re­ally have any am­bi­tions to con­tinue with the Amer­ica’s Cup at this point,” Coutts told yacht­ingnz. org. nz. “I have had quite a few years in­volved with it — loved it, fan­tas­tic event — but there are other things to do in life.

“In some ways, you need fresh peo­ple to come in and they have ob­vi­ously given it a quite a dif­fer­ent treat­ment of it this time and I say good for them. I cer­tainly hope it’s a huge suc­cess in terms of the im­pact it could have on ju­nior sail­ing in this country.”

Coutts has thrown him­self into a num­ber of projects, in­clud­ing tak­ing over as com­modore of the Manly Sail­ing Club on the Whanga­paraoa Penin­sula where he lives.

He has big plans to grow the small club and his pres­ence has helped them win the host­ing rights for the 2019 O’pen Bic world cham­pi­onships, a class of boats Coutts is a big sup­porter of. His 11- year- old son Mat­tias won the un­der- 13 di­vi­sion of this year’s O’pen Bic world cham­pi­onships in Italy.

Many de­scribe Coutts as Mr Amer­ica’s Cup, pick­ing up the man­tle from four- time win­ner Den­nis Con­ner. Con­ner last week sug­gested Team New Zealand should ex­tend an olive branch to Coutts and bring him on board to help with their de­fence.

“Who i s smarter about the Amer­ica’s Cup than Rus­sell Coutts? No one. He won more events, he knows more about it, he knows how to win, so why wouldn’t you want the best guy in your country in­volved?

“If he is not in­volved, they are giv­ing a break to the for­eign­ers. I’d make amends with Rus­sell. If there are any hard feel­ings, just get over it.”

That’s un­likely to hap­pen and Team New Zealand last week con­firmed a move away from the foil­ing cata­ma­rans in­tro­duced by Coutts to a 75ft foil­ing mono­hull for the next Cup.

“I will be watch­ing with in­ter­est,” Coutts said. “It should be a great event. Be­cause I’m not in­volved, I don’t re­ally have any com­ment [ to make about the de­ci­sion to race mono­hulls]. I haven’t sailed mono­hulls like that be­fore.

“Peo­ple made all sorts of pre­sump­tions and judg­ments about the cata­ma­rans in the Amer­ica’s Cup but quite a few of those peo­ple have never sailed in a boat like that.

“All th­ese pre­sump­tions about, ‘ oh, they’re not tac­ti­cal or they can’t do that’, well, they were shown to be wrong . . . The fact Pete Burl­ing was able to win that many starts, do you think that was just a fluke? Of course it was tac­ti­cal.

“When I look at the peo­ple mak­ing those com­ments, they are gen­er­ally older peo­ple who are, dare I say it, stuck in their old ways. I think you need to be care­ful about view­ing life like that. At some point you need to look at it through a young per­son’s eyes.”

Sir Rus­sell Coutts Read more

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.