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1997 Steinlager Line 7 Match Race
----------------------------- red rule ------------------------------ Coutts Wins Steinlager Regatta

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 1997) — Russell Coutts showed a champion's ability to keep lifting his game against a powerful challenge from young up-and-comer Dean Barker to stage a come-from-behind win in the 1997 Steinlager Line 7 Match Race Grand Prix in Auckland Sunday.

In winning, Coutts became the first skipper in the 19-year history of the regatta to win the title four times.

This year's final was an all-New Zealand affair, the first time since 1989 that the top two finishers were local crews. Both were also from the Team New Zealand America's Cup camp.

Defending champion Paul Cayard, skipper of the AmericaOne Challenge, did not complete this year, sailing instead in the Whitbread Round the World Race.

A year ago, Cayard defeated Great Britain's Chris Law to win the covetted Steinlager Trophy. This year, however, Cayard is foregoing many of the match-race events in favor of the higher profile Whitbread Race. However, AmericaOne's John Kostecki will be competing in some match-race events, including the Malaysia Challenge Match Race in Langkawl, Malaysia, Dec. 2-7.

For complete results of the New Zealand regatta, visit the Steinlager Line 7 Match Race Web site.


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