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Bruno Troublé: Russell Coutts' plans for AC36 were 'vulgar'

AUCKLAND – As your Ed. reported today on SAILING ILLUSTRATED's "Tuesday with TFE" Facebook Live show, Bruno Troublé (FRA), our longtime friend, French sailing legend, and member of the America's Cup Hall of Fame, has slammed Russell Coutts' management of the 35th America's Cup as "vulgar." In an interview with classicboat.co.uk, Troublé said, "This is why I am so critical of Russell Coutts, willing to transform the [America's Cup] 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."

(We suspect something was lost in translation or transcription, and that Bruno said "166 years," not 116, as he and most everyone else ever involved in the Cup know that it originated in that famous race around the Isle of Wight in August of 1851, 166 years ago this month.)

The former French America's skipper didn't stop there. "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 & 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!" Bruno continued, "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."

Full story on the classicboat.co.uk website here.

Bruno "Big Trouble" Troublé (FRA) has given a thumbs up to AC36. "Now the Cup is in New Zealand. The Kiwis will obviously fix it. They know how to do it."