|Born||1 March 1962|
Wellington, New Zealand
Sir Russell Coutts(born 1 March 1962) is a world champion New Zealand yachtsman.
Coutts was educated at Otago Boys' High School (1975–1979) and is a Life Member of Paremata Boating Club, where he learnt to sail in a P class, and the Ravensbourne Boating Club. Coutts has three children, and has been married twice.
In 2021 Coutts criticised the New Zealand Government's response to COVID-19, suggesting that the government was acting like a dictatorship by establishing vaccine mandates and enforcing managed isolation. In February 2022 Coutts announced that he would attend the Convoy 2022 New Zealand anti-mandate protest in Wellington.
Coutts' 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 14 wins and 16 losses (2010, 2013 and 2017 each time with James Spithill as skipper/helmsman).
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.
Most observers stated that USA 17's rigid wing sail had given it a decisive advantage.
Coutts again led 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.
|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
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 and then elevation to the rank of Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1995 Queen's Birthday Honours.
He was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2000 Queen's Birthday Honours, and redesignated as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in August 2009. He has been named ISAF Sailor of the Year twice.
Other awards include: