Russell Coutts is mad as hell

Published on October 27th, 2021

Russell Coutts

Opinion is influenced by environment, which hasn’t helped the world get their hands around the coronavirus pandemic. Every approach is different, and odds are half the people disagree with the regulations they face. It’s that kind of world these days.

For Russell Coutts, whose launch of his SailGP global sports league has been navigating COVID-19, he has grown tired of the inequity.

After forced to cancel his 2020 season, he’d been tiptoeing in 2021 through Bermuda and Europe before his New Zealand event, planned for January 2022, was canceled in August 2021 due to government hurdles.

Coutts, in his best Howard Beale “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” impersonation, offers this commentary:

After experiencing what it’s like in Europe since May, it appears there are a lot of things being mis-reported in New Zealand. The media here seems set on promoting fear. It would be interesting to send a truly independent news crew offshore to report on what it’s really like in a more balanced way….I suspect most kiwi’s would be incredibly surprised.

If you doubt what I’m saying then turn on the TV and check out the full stadiums at various sports events overseas. Check out the Premier League, Champions League or the recent Ryder Cup. The All Blacks just played against the USA in front of 40,000 fans in Washington DC.

The fact is that people are living with COVID offshore and although some people, perhaps many, rightly remain cautious, life has largely returned to normal in many places. But that is not what we are being told here in New Zealand.

The erosion of our freedom of choice, freedom of speech and the loss of precious time with family and friends and all the other negative aspects of a lockdown should be balanced against the health risk of COVID. Imagine if we had invested the 1 billion plus spent each week on lockdowns on improving our health system, education or roading (we had eight road deaths in NZ last weekend).

It seems totally insane that double vaccinated people are terrified of meeting unvaccinated people. Is that how it’s going to be for the rest of our lives? What about the people that have health issues and can’t get vaccinated? Are they going to be banished from society? (for the record I’m double vaccinated).

Finally the fact that the NZ government has now said that even if Auckland achieves 90% double vaccination that it’s people may likely still be restricted from traveling at Christmas seems like a total nonsense.

(For those overseas people reading this, Auckland already has 93% first dose and 82% second dose vaccinated – the entire country has 87% first dose and 72% double dosed).

It’s also total nonsense and contradictory that double vaccinated people that have negative COVID tests are being locked down for 14 days in MIQ (Managed Isolation and Quarantine) whilst people with COVID are being allowed to self-isolate in the community.

How New Zealand, a country where it’s people greatly valued freedom of choice… we even got to this stage of blindly accepting this sort of unilateral rule, power and dictatorship from our government is deeply troubling indeed.

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SailGP Season Championship (after 6 events)
1. Australia, 45 pts
2. United States, 44 pts
3. Japan, 44 pts
4. Great Britain, 40 pts
5. New Zealand, 36 pts
6. Spain, 35 pts
7. Denmark, 33 pts
8. France, 31 pts

Format for SailGP events:
• Teams compete in identical F50 catamarans.
• Each event runs across two days.
• There are three races on each day, totaling six races at each event.
• The opening five fleet races involve every team.
• The final match race pits the three highest ranking teams against each other to be crowned event champion.
• The season ends with the Grand Final, which includes the Championship Final Race – a winner-takes-all match race for the $1m prize.

SailGP Season 2 Schedule*
April 24-25, 2021 – Bermuda Grand Prix
June 5-6, 2021 – Italy Grand Prix – Taranto
July 17-18, 2021 – Great Britain Grand Prix – Plymouth
August 20-21, 2021 – ROCKWOOL Denmark Grand Prix – Aarhus
September 11-12, 2021 – France Grand Prix – Saint-Tropez
October 9-10, 2021 – Spain Grand Prix – Andalusia
December 17-18, 2021 – Australia Grand Prix – Sydney
January 29-30, 2022 – New Zealand Grand Prix – Christchurch (CANCELLED)
March 26-27, 2022 – United States Grand Prix – San Francisco (Season 2 Grand Final)
*Subject to change

2021-22 Teams, Helm
Australia, Tom Slingsby
Denmark, Nicolai Sehested
France, Quentin Delapierre
Great Britain, Ben Ainslie (alternate – Paul Goodison)
Japan, Nathan Outteridge
New Zealand, Peter Burling (alternate – Arnaud Psarofaghis)
Spain, Jordi Xammar (alternate – Phil Robertson)
United States, Jimmy Spithill

Established in 2018, SailGP seeks to be an annual, global sports league featuring fan-centric inshore racing in some of the iconic harbors around the globe. Rival national teams compete in identical F50 catamarans with the season culminating with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race.

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