The yachting world might have seen the last of Sir Russell Coutts' involvement in the America's Cup.

Coutts, a five-time winner of the event, has been associated with the Auld Mug since 1995 as skipper of Team New Zealand and Alinghi, then as chief executive of Oracle.

At the most recent Cup regatta in Bermuda, he was the chief executive of the America's Cup Event Authority.

Speaking to the Herald at the New Zealand Women's Open pro-am golf tournament, he said he was an unlikely participant for the 2021 Auckland edition.


"I don't really have any ambitions to do that, I think there's plenty of people here that can get on and organise that.

"I'm just taking my time, obviously spending a lot of time with the youth programmes in New Zealand, which I'm getting a good kick out of, and there are some other projects I've been involved with for quite a while."

One of those is at the Manly Sailing Club, where Coutts is commodore.

"That's a bit of fun - it's a small yacht club and we've got a good junior programme there now out of almost nothing. There's enthusiasm there, so that's a good starting point."

Coutts' statements align with those he made to Britain's Telegraph website in May.

"There's always a time to move on," he said. "I've never wanted to outlive my abilities and motivation.

"Most people don't move on soon enough. I've always taken pride in bringing new people into the roles I vacate.

"Plus I like new challenges; I can get bored pretty quickly."


Coutts was invited to play the pro-am by former All Blacks coach and golf administrator John Hart.

"It's great to bring these sorts of events to the country, it brings exposure and there's a lot of interest for these players in a number of different markets. To get this sort of field here is fantastic," Coutts said.

"My golf's not too good, I haven't got much of a game these days, but it's good to get out and have a bit of fun.

"At least with wind [on the course], I sort of know what's going on," he joked, while suggesting there might be some tacking and gybing across the fairways and greens.

Coutts suggested Lydia Ko was a powerful drawcard for the overall tournament.

"She's had a tremendous amount of success. All sportspeople go through tough patches, but fortunately it looks like she's coming back to form. It's hard to maintain that's sort of level year-in-year-out, and I think we see that in all sports."