America's Cup overlord Russell Coutts has anointed Peter Burling as one of the men to take the competition into the future.
Coutts, both a hero and villain in this country after taking his America's Cup expertise overseas, described Burling and his longtime Olympic rival, Australian Nathan Outteridge, as "incredible talents".
While not discounting older skippers such as British Olympic legend Ben Ainslie, whose team struggled in Bermuda, Coutts was keen to promote the rising talent in his video blog on the official America's Cup website.
Both the 26-year-old Burling and 31-year-old Artemis skipper Outteridge have had a tough time in their Louis Vuitton final series, which stands at 4 - 2 to Team New Zealand after today's races. Burling struggles with the starts, and made an inexplicable error near the finish line today which almost blew a 350 metre lead. Outteridge fell overboard when holding a narrow lead in race three on Sunday.
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Pundits believe that the 37-year-old Jimmy Spithill from defenders Oracle will have too much match-racing ability for Burling or Outteridge in the final. But Coutts said the America's Cup future was in good hands for the foiling monohulls.
Coutts has made the America's Cup his own on and off the water and is the force behind defenders Oracle, although officially his main job is helming the event authority in Bermuda.
Coutts said: "Both helmsmen (Burling and Outteridge) are two really exciting prospects, and already incredible talents. That talent has shown through. Clearly they are good at high performance boats but frankly they could jump in any sort of boat and do well at it...not just limited to foiling boats.
"Clearly they both sailed skiffs very, very successfully and also other types of boats as well. We're going to see them for many years to come...these younger guys are a force in this new format."