Yachting: Coutts eyes boat spot for Cup defence

By Alistair McMurran

Sir Russell Coutts was the backroom boy for the challenge but could be back on the water for Oracle's defence of the America's Cup.

"I'd love to get back on the boat," said Coutts from Valencia, Spain, yesterday.

"I haven't ruled it out. I did a lot of sailing in the build-up for the challenge."

His main focus in the challenge to Swiss holder Alinghi was as chief executive of the campaign.

"It was important for me to focus on the central structure of the campaign," he said. "It is not in my nature to do a lot of jobs poorly. I like to do a few things well."

Coutts, 47, had confidence in the sailors on the boat and in Australian skipper James Spithill.

Coutts added to his standing in sailing history when he was the key man in his 17th successive America's Cup win.

"I do feel proud. There is no doubt about that," Coutts said. "It was a particularly tough campaign with the delays and the court cases.

"But the technology on display was incredible. It was definitely fun to be part of it."

Coutts intends to spend the next three weeks relaxing with his family before beginning preparation for the America's Cup defence.

"I want to have a dialogue with other America's Cup teams to establish the rules for the defence and find a venue," Coutts said. "All these points have still to be decided."

No decision has been made on the venue or the date of the next challenge.

"If it is a fast turnaround, we would have to use existing facilities," Coutts said. "If it is a longer time frame, we will have time to establish facilities at a new venue."

The size of the yachts has still to be determined but Coutts indicated that it would be in smaller boats than the last challenge.

"But not too small because America's Cup rules state that the boats must reach a certain size to make the racing spectacular for television," Coutts said.

Oracle owner Larry Ellison is keen to hold the defence in the United States, preferably in San Francisco.

"But that city does not have the facilities to host all the teams," Coutts said. "Getting permits in some cities is not always easy."

Coutts intends to appoint a team to research the project and come back with recommendations.

There were a few New Zealanders involved in the Oracle campaign to win the America's Cup and Coutts expects some more to be added.

- OTAGO DAILY TIMES

Your views

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n4 at 13 Jul 2014 19:46:11 Processing Time: 1120ms