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Coutts Makes It Four Straight on Brut Tour

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. (Sept. 4, 1996) — New Zealander Russell Coutts remains undefeated in the Brut Sailing Series this year, notching his fourth win in as many starts at the Brut Cup of New York last weekend. The 1995 America's Cup winner will go for a clean sweep at the Brut Gold Cup of Bermuda, Oct. 5-13.

Coutts earlier won the Brut Sailing Series grand prize of US$250,000, which is awarded to the skipper winning three of the five regattas. There was no grand prize winner last year.

The victory also solidified the Kiwi's No. 1 position in the Omega Match Race Rankings, extending his lead over American Ed Baird. Baird, who won just three races and did not qualify for the quarterfinals here, is now clinging to second place in the rankings by the slim margin of 7 points over Australia's Peter Gilmour. Baird has 11,659 points to Gilmour's 11,652. Coutts has 12,097. (Figures based on last 12 regattas.)

Coutts defeated Gilmour to win the Brut Cup of New York, with Chris Law of Great Britain downing France's Thierry Pepponet in the petite final for third and fourth.

American Terry Hutchinson, ranked 420th, surprised a few folks by running up a record of 6-1 in the round robin final to advance to the quarterfinals and finish fifth overall. He defeated a group of veteran match racers, including John Cutler of New Zealand, France's Bertrand Pacé and Peter Holmberg of the U.S. Virgin Islands and skipper of the St. Thomas YC America's Cup challenge.

The next major event on the match-race circuit is the World Championship of Match Race Sailing in Rovinj, Croatia, Sept. 19-20. The top 10 skippers in the rankings are invited to participate. In addition to Coutts, Baird and Gilmour, they include Pacé, Magnus Holmberg (Sweden), Jesper Bank (Denmark), Roy Heiner (Netherlands), Pepponet, Law and Markus Wieser, Germany. If any of the skippers decline the invitation, Peter Holmberg and Rod Davis (New Zealand) are next in line.


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