Coutts: Queenstown could stage America's Cup

Author
NZ Herald staff,
Section
Yachting,
Publish Date
Thursday, 3 November 2016, 7:17AM
A sea change for the America's Cup would be on the cards if Russell Coutts has his way (Photo / NZH)
A sea change for the America's Cup would be on the cards if Russell Coutts has his way (Photo / NZH)

Russell Coutts has floated the idea that Queenstown might be able to stage the world's most famous yachting regatta.

Asked this week if Auckland could again host the America's Cup, Coutts - a five-time winner - said: "Why not have it in Queenstown?"

Coutts says land-locked Switzerland, whom he won the Cup for in 2003, could have hosted the following regatta.

And this year the Cup broke new ground with a qualifier in Chicago: Lake Michigan became the first freshwater venue in the event's 165-year history. That lake was bigger than Lake Wakatipu, but Coutts said that the modern format was for racing to be held on tight circuits, close to the shore.

The course need only be 2-3km long - "so you could set a course easily".

"You don't need much width either."

The yachting legend and event authority CEO for the 2017 America's Cup in Bermuda said he was a big fan of lake sailing, especially for learners.

"You get a hell of a lot of wind changes/wind shifts".

Lakes were a good platform for sailors to learn the direction and speed of the wind on, he said.

Auckland-based Coutts - who built a large home on the Crown Range about seven years ago - said he and his family ventured down as often as they could.

"My two boys [15 and 10] are mad-keen skiers. That's their number one sport. My daughter [13], she snowboards."

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