Cayard and Coutts are planning a big, new event which Coutts promises will not compete against the ACC. Peter Ernstved Rasmussen from Ernstveds bureau reports from Denmark
American Paul Cayard and Russell Coutts are planning a big, new event entirely different from the America’s Cup. But the two events are not going to compete against each other, promises Coutts. Peter Ernstved Rasmussen chats to Coutts about their plans.
Kiwi-sailor and America’s Cup veteran Russell Coutts is working together with American Paul Cayard on a new sailing event. Coutts, who’s in the process of separating links from the Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi team, spent last week training in Oresund, Denmark, with his new all-Danish crew in preparation for this week’s Swedish Match Tour event.
Coutts chatted about the prospects of a new event, saying: “It is true that Paul and I have been talking about doing something new. I am not entirely sure about what that format should be right now, but we’re working through it. Once we get to a stage where we have a clearly defined thing, we will probably make that public.”
The rumours are that the Kiwi/American’s new international event will be an alternative to the America’s Cup. But the world class sailor denies that, adding: “We are definitely not thinking of doing any event that would try to compete with – or that you could compare with – the America’s Cup. If we do something, it would be entirely different. I think the America’s Cup is a great event. It is moving on and has been there for 150 years. It will always be there.”
Coutts intimated that a new event is not his only possibility, if the separation from Alinghi succeeds. At the moment he is considering several ideas with possibilities ranging from the Olympic Games to Volvo Ocean Race or match racing on the Swedish Match Tour.
Coutts continued: “I’m looking forward to a fresh approach. There are a lot of exiting things happening in the sport, like the canting-keel boats and some of the Open 60s. I would love to have a look at that – I haven’t even seen an Open 60 yet.
“I’m quite interested in getting involved with a bit of design. I’m involved in one little project with a 42-footer, which I’m quite excited about. It’s taking up a bit of a thinking right now.”
The new situation means that the America’s Cup is likely to continue without the greatest ever America’s Cup skipper in history. But Coutts has no regrets. He concluded: “I have been in the Cup game for 15 years or so. And the sport is so much bigger than the America’s Cup. I have been in such a narrow and defined field for such a long time – maybe it’s good to change track now.”