I like Russell Coutts. He’s earned NZers’ ire, but has forced us to grow up as a sporting nation for doing the same thing that many, many rugby players and coaches are doing every year, going overseas to find a better opportunity. It’s just that unlike Taine, or Craig, or Christian, Russell came back to take ‘our’ cup, and freed up a lot of warehouse space in the Viaduct in the process.
Coutts is supremely focussed, won’t accept second best, is outspoken, and a winner. Like Glenn Turner and Arthur Lydiad (until recent years), this hasn’t made him popular. It’s hard to see what he’ll do next, it may be impossible for him to race in the next regatta, but Team New Zealand would have a much better chance with him (in any capacity) than without him.