Russell Coutts

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Russell Coutts
Sir Russell Coutts in 2010
Personal information
Full name Russell Coutts
Nationality  New Zealand
Born (1962-03-01) 1 March 1962 (age 53)
Wellington, New Zealand
Class(es) Finn, AC45

Sir Russell Coutts KNZM CBE (born 1 March 1962) is a New Zealand competitive sailor. His achievements include a gold medal in the Finn Class in the 1984 Olympic Games, winning the America's Cup five times, the ISAF World Youth championships, three World Match Racing Championships, numerous international match race wins and IOR, IMS and One Design World Championship victories. As skipper/helmsman in America's cup racing, he has a perfect record with 15 wins and no losses (1995, 2000, 2003). He was CEO of the Oracle Team when it won the America's Cup twice with 13 wins and 8 losses (2010 and 2013, both times with James Spithill as skipper/helmsman).

In New Zealand, Coutts has been honoured with appointment as a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 1985 New Year Honours[1] and then elevation to the rank of Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1995 Queen's Birthday Honours.[2] He was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2000 Queen's Birthday Honours,[3] and redesignated as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2009.[4] He has been named ISAF Sailor of the Year twice.

In 2005 Slovenian designer Andrej Justin designed with input from him a new boat called the RC44; a high performance one design racer created for top level racing in international regattas under strictly controlled Class Rules. The concept and the design features of the RC44 are dedicated to the amateur helmsmen racing in fleet racing sailing events.

In July 2007, Coutts was named CEO and Skipper of BMW Oracle Racing, sponsored by Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC), the United States Challenger to the 2010 America's Cup. He was involved in the pre-match litigation between the challengers Golden Gate Yacht Club and Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), in which the court decided that the GGYC was the rightful Challenger of Record. Cup Defender SNG's team was Alinghi. Coutts' yacht USA beat the defending yacht Alinghi 5 by considerable margins in both races.[5][6] Most observers stated that USA 17's rigid wing sail had given it a decisive advantage.[7]

Coutts again lead the Oracle Team as CEO in the next America's Cup match against Emirates Team New Zealand. This match took place in the bay of San Francisco in September 2013. Oracle managed to come back from 8 races to 1 by winning the following 8 races and to defend the cup in the longest America's cup match ever. Both skipper James Spithill and team owner Larry Ellison praised Coutts' role in the defense of the oldest trophy in sports history.[8][9]

Sailing career[edit]

/>           – 1995 America's Cup / Black Magic (Challenger) / San Diego / Winner (5 to 0) – Skipper & Helmsman



External links[edit]