Russell Coutts of the Alinghi Challenge dominated the competition in the quarterfinals to advance into the semifinals of the Swedish Match Cup, the eighth and final event of Swedish Match Tour Year 2 in Marstrand, Sweden
Russell Coutts of the Alinghi Challenge dominated the competition in the quarterfinals to advance into the semifinals of the Swedish Match Cup, the eighth and final event of Swedish Match Tour Year 2 in Marstrand, Sweden.
Coutts won his first six matches of the day and backed up his promise earlier in the week of “getting better each day of the regatta.” His performance evoked memories of his dominant victory at last October’s Colorcraft Gold Cup in Bermuda, the only other match race event he has done in the past year.
Joining Coutts in the semifinals after posting five wins is Magnus Holmberg of Team Stora Enso and the Swedish Victory Challenge, Luc Pillot of France, and with four wins, and by virtue of a countback over Gavin Brady of Prada, Bjorn Hansen of Sweden. Hansen’s high wire act into the next round means that for the first time in the eight year history of the Swedish Match Cup there will be two Swedes sailing in the “money round.”
After dropping his first two matches of the day to Pillot and Brady, Swedish Match Tour Year 2 Champion Magnus Holmberg rallied to win his next five and put himself in position to advance to Saturday’s semi-finals. His fourth win on the day was an important one. The Swede took advantage of formerly white-hot Jes Gram-Hansen in a match which would have put him in a tie on the leaderboard with the Danish skipper at three wins and might have proved disastrous to GKSS’ shining star had the chance to advance come down to a countback.
It was a tough day for the winners of the first round robin. Andy Green of the GBR Challenge, Jes Gram-Hansen of Denmark and Jochen Schuemann who had all shared the leads of their round robin groups, found themselves fighting for air all day as their fortunes reversed off the cliffs of Marstrand.
Skipper Wins Losses
Russell Coutts 6 1
Magnus Holmberg 5 2
Luc Pillot 5 2
Bjorn Hansen 4 3
*Gavin Brady 4 3
Jes Gram-Hansen 3 4
Jochen Schuemann 1 6
Andy Green 0 7