The Coast Guard Foundation Hawaii Dinner Committee announced it will host Sir Russell Coutts, CEO of America’s Cup winner ORACLE TEAM USA, as its 2014 Keynote
Speaker. The Annual Tribute Dinner to the 14th District will be held on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at the Lu`au Grounds of the Hale Koa Hotel at 5:30 p.m.
With the Team’s remarkable comeback victory in September 2013, Coutts became a five-time winner, and is the most successful helmsman in the history of the America’s Cup. His 14-0 record in the 1995, 2000 and 2003 Cups is unmatched. As CEO of ORACLE TEAM USA, his team has won the America’s Cup twice with 13 wins and 8 losses. Coutts was a youth world champion in 1981, an Olympic Gold medalist in 1984 (in the physically demanding Finn singlehanded class), and won the first of his three match racing world championships in 1992. He has also been named World Sailor of the Year twice (1995, 2003) by the International Sailing Federation.
Coutts’ success in the 33rd America’s Cup and the introduction of the high-speed, wing sailed catamarans have been instrumental in transforming the America’s Cup into a fan-friendly, America’s sustainable event with a strong youth following. The AC45s were used in the America’s Cup World Series from 2011-13, allowing the teams to learn the new boats, while the AC72 challenged the sailors and designers to push their limits. For fans, both classes of boats provided exciting racing through a full range of conditions, and brought the action closer to shore than ever before.
“We are honored to have such a distinguished sailor as our 2014 keynote speaker, said Glenn Hong, Chairman of the Tribute Dinner. “We are eager to hear about his comeback victory and the influence of
these new high-speed sailing vessels the transformation of the America’s Cup.”
A New Zealand native, Coutts has been appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 1985 New Year Honours and then elevated to the rank of Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1995 Queen’s Birthday Honours. He was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2000 Queen’s Birthday Honours, and appointed as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2009.