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Bruno Troublé: Sailing legend's open letter to New Zealand

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – [The following "Open Letter" by Bruno Troublé (FRA) appeared in Wednesday's New Zealand Herald, along with this apt description of your Ed.'s longtime and dear friend: "Three times French skipper in the America's Cup, creator of the Louis Vuitton Cup in 1982, head of the America's Cup press organisation for 20 years (1983 to 2003), America's Cup Hall of Fame member and presented in 2003 with the New Zealand Order of Merit." This is Bruno's first public utterance on AC35 since his famous and celebrated (by many AC vets) email to friends in April 2015 that inevitably made its way into the media. We reprise that entertaining email below Bruno's open letter, in case you missed it the first time around. –TFE]


It would bring me immense joy to see Emirates Team New Zealand finish the work they started in 2007 by winning the 2017 America's Cup in Bermuda.

Team NZ's rich history in the event is already one to be celebrated, but if they were to pull off this win in Bermuda against such incredible odds, it would surely be their greatest achievement.

Throughout this campaign I have watched from afar with total admiration of the team.

Under the leadership of Grant Dalton and Matteo de Nora this team is extremely strong.

It is a team composed of courageous New Zealand sons showing incredible mental strength, resilience and commitment. What exceptional ambassadors they are for New Zealand. They are a tiny David against a "space age" Goliath.

It was a bold and smart move to put young video games champions – and great sailors – on the job rather than old experienced salties such as Sir Ben [Ainslie] or James Spithill. This is a totally new sport, where immediate reactivity is the key and not the planned tactics.

Credit should also be given to the other half of the reason allowing for Team NZ's strong position in the Cup today: New Zealanders' amazing (and unique) faculty to think outside the box.

The cycling system has shown it is both perfectly viable, safe and performs better than traditional grinding pedestals.

Glenn Ashby's wing trimming system is another stroke of ingenuity.

Ashby may be an Australian, but the Kiwi capacity for relentlessly providing innovative solutions to old problems is something the world has seen in the past through the deeds of legendary New Zealanders such as Bruce McLaren, Sir Peter Blake, Sir Edmund Hillary and many others.

I am sure we will keep seeing this unique national creativity in the years to come.

Go New Zealand! Not only the team, but the country.

Bring the Cup back where it belongs - and immediately change the nationality rule. That's something that, in hindsight, was a mistake not to do in 2000. If you win and do so, you will keep it for a while!


I am away on my boat in Venice, enjoying spring in La Serenissima, far from the boiling controversy of the America’s Cup. All those witches and sorcerers trying to do good to the America’s Cup are instead slowly killing her. There have been so many mistakes over the last couple years! Golden Gate Yacht Club, and their Oracle Team USA, are great sailors but hopeless guards of the Myth. They managed to kill the style and elegance which prevailed for decades, those unique aspects of the America’s Cup for which was our main aim at Louis Vuitton for 30 years.They have discouraged the high level partners and put an end to the exclusive positioning of THE Cup. They have betrayed the long saga of incredible personalities who made the Cup so special. And they are now organizing a one design catamaran contest with no style and anonymous people beyond the sailing circles. What we have now is a vulgar beach event smelling of sunscreen and french fries. This is definitely NOT the Cup.

Bruno "Big Trouble" Troublé, as he is affectionately known within the Cup community. Photo courtesy of the NZ Herald.

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