Video: Russell Coutts teaching the next generation of sailors down in Wanaka

Russell Coutts (Supplied)
Russell Coutts (Supplied)

It's a world away from his day job, but on Saturday Sir Russell Coutts was giving youngsters an insight into the world of yachting.

Next year he'll be a key figure as nation's battle for the sport's biggest prize.

Sir Russell is an Olympic Champion and a five-time America's Cup winner, so he has plenty of knowledge to share.

Sir Russell is currently down in central Otago, where he owns a property, and on Saturday he was teaching a number of local 11- to 15-year-olds how to sail on Lake Wanaka.

The kids spoke very positively about Sir Russell, who could possibly teach the future skipper of Team New Zealand.

As chief executive of the America's Cup Event Authority, he's basically in charge of running the regatta in Bermuda in June of next year.

"It will be fantastic - so many teams very close and the venue will be spectacular," says Sir Russell.

But Saturday was more about grassroots than glamour. Every champion has to start somewhere.