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A master class in keeping it real

Published on August 2nd, 2023

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
As it is typical for youth sailors to sail in age-based events, they don’t often interact with accomplished adult sailors. Sure, there are coaches, but you know what they say: “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”

I’m not saying there aren’t inspiring coaches, but previous generations of young people benefited from organic mentoring sailing aside adults … I know I did. It was those experiences that solidified my involvement with sailing, allowing me to see the path forward. Today, not so much.

So it is in this current environment that I give Sir Russell Coutts – notable for Olympic medals and America’s Cup wins – massive praise as he sees the benefit of his involvement.

In previous Scuttlebutt reports, he shared his concern with how the sport had evolved, particularly with the Optimist Class, and how he got involved in a local club to help boost the junior sailing program. He even became the club’s Commodore.

It helped that his son Mattias was a youth sailor at the time, but Coutts has stayed with it for the next wave of youngsters. Most recently he was at the 2023 O’pen Skiff World Championship in Italy to support the Kiwi contingent, and it was his presence and counsel that is credited for helping bring home a World title. – Full story

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