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Russell Coutts weighs in: 5 ways to protect the future of the America's Cup

Russell Coutts weighs in: 5 ways to protect the future of the America's Cup

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A new class of Cup Challengers needs to step up

Perhaps Coutts is not so disappointed to see the departure of Italian Challenger Luna Rossa, an example of a typical old-school Cup team funded by the wealth of Prada fashion tycoon Patrizio Bertelli, who withdrew from the 2017 event in protest when the America's Cup boat size was reduced to 48 feet.

In the Italians’ place comes a fledgling America's Cup team from Japan, SoftBank Team Japan. Although the team’s owner is Japan’s wealthiest individual, Masayoshi Son, founder and CEO of SoftBank, and the Kiwi Cup legend Dean Barker has signed on to skipper the Japanese America’s Cup team, it’s too early to say whether or not Son will be the kind of person that Coutts wants ’round the table.

However, with only the Swedes and the Brits looking certain for 2017, the Kiwis’ future uncertain and French hopes of a credible challenge hanging by a thread, the event certainly needs the Japanese.

Photo by Matt Knighton

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