Despite a match racing hiatus of several months, Alinghi skipper Russell Coutts has lost none of his tactical guile and swept to victory at the Swedish Match Gold Cup in Marstrand

Russell Coutts has won the Swedish Match Gold Cup in Marstrand, Sweden, to make a dramatic success of the Swiss Alinghi America’s Cup syndicate’s first match racing outing since October.

Despite food poisoning and dehydration over the last two days of the regatta, Coutts bounced back finalist Luc Pillot’s successful opening to win the final 3-1.

Pillot qualified for the final courtesy of Magnus Holmberg’s generosity. The winner of this year’s Swedish Match series squandered a 2-0 lead to let Pillot sneak through 3-2 and deny the spectators a home-grown victory.

On his way to the final, Coutts swept aside the challenge of Swede Bjorn Hansen 3-0 and Holmberg did likewise in the petit final, winning 2-0 to take third spot.

After the euphoria of qualifying for the quarterfinals, Andy Green’s team from GBR Challenge were dumped in all seven races to finish eighth overall in the Swedish Match Gold Cup. It’s difficult to draw too many positives from the latter stages of this event but this is the level of competition they can expect in Auckland so it’s as well they find out now and start working up to it.

Swedish Match Gold Cup, Marstrand
Final Standings

  • 1. Russell Coutts (Alinghi Challenge)
  • 2. Luc Pillot (FRA)
  • 3. Magnus Holmberg (SWE/Team Stora Enso)
  • 4. Bjorn Hansen (SWE)
  • 5. Gavin Brady (Prada Challenge)
  • 6. Jes Gram-Hansen (DEN/Team Marienlyst)
  • 7. Jochen Schuemann (Alinghi Challenge)
  • 8. Andy Green (GBR Challenge)
  • 9. Jesper Bank (Victory Challenge)
  • 10. Jesper Radich (DEN/Team Steff Houlberg)
  • 11. Peter Gilmour (OneWorld Challenge)
  • 12. Johnie Berndtsson (SWE)
  • 13. Dean Barker (Team New Zealand)
  • 14. James Spithill (OneWorld Challenge)
  • 15.Chris Dickson (Oracle Racing)
  • 16. Bertrand Pace (Team New Zealand)