America's Cup legend Dennis Conner predicts we've seen the end of Russell Coutts' involvement in the event.
In his latest podcast, Conner, a four-time winner of the Auld Mug, wrapped up the recent event Bermuda and shared his views on what the 2021 regatta, shaped by new defender Team New Zealand, would look like.
Conner believes the 35th America's Cup in Bermuda signalled "the end of the Coutts era", which would likely spell the end of Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison's Cup dalliances for now.
"Coutts looked like he'd had enough of the Cup to me," Conner said of the Kiwi sailing great's demeanour in Bermuda.
"He has made more money from sailing than anyone in the entire world. He will return to his homeland and be well received as one of the greatest America's Cup sailors ever.
"It will take a little while for them to forget that he was the one that took the Cup off them ... but he has a lot of friends there.
"He will help bring the youth of New Zealand along even faster than we might have expected."
Conner predicted such a move would impact on Ellison, who had employed Coutts as his right-hand man in yachting.
"I think we will see Larry retiring and moving on to other things that Larry does."
The downfall of Oracle Team USA places a question mark over the continuing involvement of Team Japan and France. But Conner believes Team New Zealand will attract other teams back in the game, including another possible billionaire-backed US challenge.
Conner said he has hearing strong rumours that Richard DeVos, a co-founder of Amway and owner of the Orlando Magic NBA team, is planning on launching a challenge.
"He has the loot, he's a legitimate billionaire," Conner said.
"It will mean a lot of fresh blood and a lot of money spent."
Conner also added weight to predictions that Team New Zealand are planning a move back to monohulls, with a crew of up to 14.
"I'm hearing rumours about a sloop, maybe in the 60-foot range that could foil. We know if it's light enough and well designed, it could foil," he said.
"It will be a creative boat, you know that. There is no one more creative than they are. They will think outside the box."