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Coutts Wins World Championship

DUBROVNIK, Croatia (Sept. 30, 1996) — New Zealand's Russell Coutts continued his domination of the world match-racing scene by winning the 1996 World Championship on Saturday.

Coutts, the winner of four regattas in the Brut Sailing Series, claimed is third world title with a 3-0 defeat of defending champion Ed Baird of the United States. Ironically, Coutts lost to Baird twice earlier in the week when they met in the first and second rounds-robin.

In the consolution final, Australian Peter Gilmour defeated Peter Holmberg of the U.S. Virgin Islands, 2-0.

All four of these skipper are likely to compete in the next America's Cup. Though it has not been announced, Coutts is expected to return to the helm for Team New Zealand, and Gilmour is rumored to be in line to drive the Japanese boat. Baird is the skipper for the New York YC challenge, and Holmberg is the skipper for the St. Thomas YC challenge, both representing the United States.

Baird and Holmberg led the qualifiers going into the semi-final round, with Baird narrowly defeating Holmberg, 3-2, to advance to the championship round. Coutts, tied with Gilmour for third at the end of the round-robin, downed the Aussie, 3-0, to advance.

For complete results, see the 1996 World Championship in Match Race Sailing Web site.

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