Restoring Richness to the America’s Cup
Published on August 15th, 2017
by Rob Peake, Classic Boat
Bruno Troublé has spoken out about the 35th America’s Cup, criticising the 2017 event in Bermuda and the plans to run the Cup on a two-year cycle as ‘vulgar’. He celebrated the fact the USA did not win the event again, saying victors New Zealand would now ‘fix it’, adding: “They know how to do it.”
Speaking about the Bermuda event, Troublé said: “We don’t want a video game kind of boat racing where the greatest sailors on earth (Sir Ben Ainslie, Jimmy Spithill or Franck Cammas) have no chance. And while they race, we want to see their faces, not robocops covered with goggles, helmets and mics.”
Troublé helmed the French boat in the 1977, 1980 and 1983 Cups, including the 1983 Challenger finals. He worked as a lawyer and later became known as the first America’s Cup impresario, introducing Louis Vuitton as a sponsor to the event and running all media activities for the Cup from 1983 to 2003.
More recently he has become a key player in the classic world, overseeing the restoration of six rare Universal Rule yachts and bringing them to the Med to race. Troublé is proud that he is one of the ‘last amateur sailors’, never having been paid to race a yacht.
He was among the first to congratulate Emirates Team New Zealand on winning the America’s Cup in June, as the NZ team led by Grant Dalton was the only one not to have signed up to a new format that would see the Cup held every two years.
Troublé said: “This is why I am so critical of Russell Coutts, willing to transform the myth to a vulgar, two-year sailing circuit. Now the Cup is in New Zealand. The Kiwis will obviously fix it. They know how to do it. It is not a matter of boats – monohulls or cats – it is a matter of respect to all those people who fought for the pride of their countries over the 116 years of the Cup.
“Winning the America’s Cup in 1851 was for the young Americans the symbol of their birth as a nation. It was an achievement which is still remembered in America’s history. Coutts and co do not realize, even if they have won it several times, that it is not a sailing event but a matter of pride for a nation. It is well above sailing!
“There were some good ideas in Bermuda, but it was not the America’s Cup. There was absolutely no link and no reference to the extreme richness of the America’s Cup. They stole the label and did not respect the content.”
Offering advice for the next event, he said: “It is quite simple. The Deed of Gift tells us the Cup is a ‘friendly competition amongst nations’. Keep that sentence in mind: restore the nationality rule, make participation easy (no beach cats and no huge boats with 40 crew members), make sure the boats are spectacular in all conditions.
“We will all come to New Zealand, like we did in 2000.”
Source: Classic Boat is the magazine for the world’s most beautiful boats. Packed with stunning images, we have the inside stories of the great classic yachts and motorboats afloat today, as well as fascinating tales from yesteryear and the latest from the wooden boat building scene around the world.