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America's Cup - Coutts 'threatens' return to Cup if monohull chosen

by Richard Gladwell, NZ on 20 Aug 2017
Russell Coutts is now heavily involved in the O'pen BIC class as a coach and backer O'pen BIC New Zealand
Five times America's Cup winner, Russell Coutts, has echoed his famous quote about the 34th And 35th America's Cup regattas being for the Facebook generation, not the Flintstone generation, in an interview with OneNews reporter Abby Wilson.

Now the Commodore of Manly Sailing Club, 40 minutes drive north of Auckland, Coutts hit back at those who have criticised the format and boats used at the two events. 'Most of that criticism is from people who are more than 50 years old,' he told Abby Wilson who reported for OneNews from Bermuda. 'If you want to look at what is growing the sport, you look at what the 20-year-old and 30-year-olds are sailing.'

Coutts, 55 years old believes a monohull-centric America's Cup could be a step backwards.

'With a monohull rule, ridiculous as it sounds, I could probably get out there and train, and probably be reasonably competitively again. But I don't think that is what the sport should be.'

Signalling his exit from the sharp end of the America's Cup Coutts added: 'I think it is time to give other people a chance and let them bring it forward some more, hopefully.'

For the full interview click here

These days Coutts is heavily involved with the O'pen BIC class which has been around for a while, but which he is very actively promoting as a class to get new young sailors into the sport instead of the more traditional route through the Optimist class or the P-class of his day, when he learned to sail on Dunedin's Otago harbour.

Some of the O'pen BICs that were sailed in a speed sailing competition as one of the supporting acts for the recent America's Cup Regatta in Bermuda were fitted with foils and took to the air during the heavier air days on the Great Sound.

Meanwhile, there is no advance on the publication or key points of the Protocol for the 36th America's Cup which will indicate the type of boat to be used for the Auckland regatta in 2021.

The document is expected to have a nationality clause which will hit two of the 35th America's Cup teams hard, with Sweden and Japan only having three sailors (all grinders) on the wider sailing team roster who complied with the nationality rule for the Louis Vuitton Trophy and America's Cup.

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