27 Jul 2017

Sir Russell Coutts has a new job

5:13 pm on 27 July 2017

Sir Russell Coutts is turning his attention to training New Zealand's up and coming sailors following Oracle Team USA's defeat to Team New Zealand at the America's Cup in Bermuda.

Sir Russell Coutts.

Sir Russell Coutts. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The former Team New Zealand Skipper who won successive America's Cup regattas in 1995 and 2000 recently took over as commodore of the Manly Sailing Club.

The 55-year-old's Auckland home isn't far from the Manly club in Whangaparoa and according to long-time friend and vice commodore Harold Bennett, has been like a "big dog with a bone" as he dives into the role.

"He's so passionate about it and has so many ideas," Bennett told Yachting New Zealand. "He's really put his nose to the stone already."

"He can be commodore as long as he wants the job," Bennett said. "We don't have set terms here.

"He's said he's done with the America's Cup so has time and he's also said he needs something else to get his teeth into," Bennett said.

Coutts has been involved in the Manly Club since last year coaching and racing 20 O'pen Bic sailboats, small single handed yachts designed for younger sailors.

The demand for Coutts' expertise has been high resulting in a shortage of storage facilities at the club. The local council have been approached by the club to try and extend their clubhouse.

Coutts is also helping out at other clubs around New Zealand including the Ravensbourne Yacht Club in Dunedin, where he is a life member and first learned to sail, and the Wanaka Yacht and Powerboat Club - he has a holiday home in Central Otago.

Manly are due to host October's Yachting New Zealand youth trials, which are being used as a selection regatta for the NZL Foundation youth team to compete at December's Youth Sailing World Championships in Sanya, China.

Around 80 children aged 14-19 will be battling it out in all five youth classes and it's fair to assume the new commodore of Manly won't be far from the action.

-RNZ/Yachting NZ