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
Sailing career
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]


As of 27 September 2015 [10]
Year Competition Venue Position Event
1983 Finn Gold Cup Milwaukee, USA 13th Finn class
1984 Finn Gold Cup Anzio, Italy 7th Finn class
Olympic Games Long Beach, USA 1st Finn class
1989 IYRU Match Racing World Championship Lymington, UK 7th Match racing
1990 Soling World Championships Medemblik, Netherlands 8th Soling class
IYRU Match Racing World Championship Auckland, New Zealand 5th Match racing
1991 IYRU Match Racing World Championship Hamilton, Bermuda 3rd Match racing
1992 Olympic Games Barcelona, Spain 8th Soling class
IYRU Match Racing World Championship Long Beach, USA 1st Match racing
1993 IYRU Match Racing World Championship Perth, Australia 1st Match racing
1996 ISAF Open Match Racing World Championship Dubrovnik, Croatia 1st Match racing
1998 Etchells World Championships Marblehead, USA 2nd Etchells class
2001 12 Metre World Championships Cowes, UK 1st 12 Metre Grand Prix class
Farr 40 World Championships Cowes, UK 1st Farr 40 class
2003 Farr 40 World Championships Porto Cervo, Italy 4th Farr 40 class
ISAF Open Match Racing World Championship Riva del Garda, Italy 6th Match racing
2005 Melges 24 World Championships Key Largo, USA 28th Melges 24 class
2006 Farr 40 World Championships Newport, USA 1st Farr 40 class
2008 TP52 World Championships Lanzarote, Spain 4th TP52 class
2010 Melges 32 World Championships San Francisco, USA 7th Melges 32 class
RC44 World Championships Puerto Calero, Spain 2nd RC44 class

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



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