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Cayard Places Third in Brut Cup of San Francisco

Brut photo SAN FRANCISCO, California (June 2, 1996)—AmericaOne skipper Paul Cayard knocked off the No. 1 ranked skipper in the world to capture third place in the Brut Cup of San Francisco match-race regatta at St. Francis Yacht Club.

Down 1-0 in the best-of-three sail-off for third, Cayard rebounded to take two straight races from world champion Ed Baird of St. Petersburg, Florida.

This was the first match-up between the two America's Cup sailors since both were named as skippers of rival America's Cup challenges from the United States. Baird is skipper for New York Yacht Club's PACT2000 racing syndicate.

The Brut Cup of San Francisco, the second stop on the five-regatta series, was won by New Zealander Russell Coutts, skipper for 1995 America's Cup winner Team New Zealand from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

In the best-of-five final, Coutts defeated newcomer Morgan Larson, a member of St. Francis YC who lives in Capitola, Calif., in three straight races. This was Larson's first Level One match-race regatta, and he said he surprised even himself with his performance during the five-day event. He wasn't nearly as surprised as Baird, however, who lost to Larson, 3-0, in the semifinal round.

Brut photo Jeff Madrigali, also from the St. Francis YC, was fifth, followed by America's Cup veteran Peter Gilmour of Australia, and Peter Holmberg, skipper of the America's Cup challenge from the Virgins Islands YC.

Cayard and Coutts met in the semifinals, with Coutts prevailing, 3-2, in a series that began Saturday, June 1, but was not concluded until the following morning. Coutts, who is expected to skipper the New Zealand boat in America's Cup XXX, said afterward that the delay gave him the victory.

Boat handling problems in the stiff 15- to 20-knot breeze blowing through the Golden Gate had plagued the Kiwi crew on Saturday. But given time to identify and correct the problems, they were able to knock Cayard out of the winner's bracket in the deciding race on Sunday morning. The competitors sailed J/105 30-foot sloops.

Having won the Brut Royal Lymington Cup in England on May 18, Coutts is positioned to win $250,000. Any skipper winning three of the five Brut Cup regattas wins the quarter-million-dollar grand prize.

The next Brut Cup match is slated for June 17-23 at Yacht Club de Sète in France, where the America's Cup skippers meet again. The final two regattas are the Brut Cup of New York, Aug. 27-Sept. 1, and the Brut Gold Cup of Bermuda, Oct. 5-13.


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