Coutts won the Swedish Match Cup championship with a 3-1 victory over Australian Peter Gilmour yesterday

Coutts won his second Tour event of the year when he claimed the Swedish Match Cup championship with a 3-1 victory over Australian Peter Gilmour and the Pizza-La Sailing Team, at Marstrand yesterday.

It was Coutts’ second victory at the Swedish Match Cup (having previously won in 2001), and his fourth in eight events on the Tour over the past five years.

Commenting on his win Coutts said: “It’s always hard to win a championship. I didn’t start well early in the week, but did today. I think we sailed well.”

Two months ago Coutts won the Tour championship in Porto Azzurro, Italy, where he also defeated Gilmour and the Pizza-La crew, 2-1.

Coutts, sailing with Tour regular Jes Gram-Hansen of Denmark and his countrymen Michael Arnhild, Christian Kamp and Rasmus Kostner, split the first two races of the final against the Pizza-La team, and then won two straight to claim the championship.

Gilmour gave credit to Coutts for pulling together a crew that he never sailed with before and winning. “Russell sailed superbly well,” said Gilmour. “To come here with a new crew and win is outstanding.”

Gilmour and his Pizza-La crew including Rod Dawson, Mike Mottl, Kazuhiko Sofuku and Yasuhiro Yaji clinched the 2003-’04 Tour championship a month ago after the Tour stop in Croatia.

Yesterday, they added to their record-setting performance. Their second place finish gives them all firsts and seconds on the championship leaderboard. And their 150 net points is also a record.

In the Petit Final Magnus Holmberg defeated Chris Law, 2-0, to finish third while Law placed fourth in his defence of the title.

Holmberg won the first match outright, then used a penalty against Law to win the second match, which was not without drama.

Law became the second skipper to fall overboard at the Swedish Match Cup when he went for a swim after entering the pre-start box. Chatting about the incident Law said: “I pushed the tiller down hard in the dial up then pulled it back and the tiller extension broke off. I grabbed the toe rail as I fell backward, but couldn’t stop myself from going over. When I came up the crew was saying, ‘Swim, Chris, swim.’ But I was laughing so hard.”

Overall Results – Swedish Match Tour final

1. Peter Gilmour/AUS, Pizza-La Sailing Team, 150 points, $60,000 prize money

2. Magnus Holmberg/SWE, SeaLife Rangers, 79, $40,000 prize money

3. Gavin Brady/NZL, BMW Oracle Racing, 70, $25,000 prize money

4. Russell Coutts/NZL, 60, $20,000 prize money

5. Bertrand Pacé/FRA, BMW Oracle Racing, 55, $18,000 prize money

6. Jesper Radich/DEN, Team Radich, 43, $15,000 prize money

7. Ed Baird/USA, Team Musto, 41, $12,000 prize money

8. Jes Gram-Hansen/DEN, Team Denmark, 38, $10,000 prize money

Swedish Match Cup – final standings

1. Russell Coutts/NZL, 16-3, $37,834.00 prize money

Crew: Michael Arnhild, Jes Gram-Hansen, Christian Kamp, Rasmus Kostner

2. Peter Gilmour/AUS, Pizza-La Sailing Team, 11-8, $19,187.00 prize money

Crew: Rod Dawson, Mike Mottl, Kazuhiko Sofuku, Yasuhiro Yaji

3. Magnus Holmberg/SWE, SeaLife Rangers, 11-7, $11,755.00 prize money

Crew: Martin Krite, Lars Linger, Oskar Ljung, Stefan Rahm

4. Chris Law/GBR, The Outlaws, 9-7, $9,323.00 prize money

Crew: Oscar Angervall, Daniel Björndahl, Anders Dahlsjö, Henrik Valderyd

5. Ed Baird/USA, SKF Racing, 10-2, $7,700.00 prize money

Crew: Andy Horton, Pete van Nieuwenhyzen, Peter Poulsen, Jon Ziskind

6. Lars Nordbjerg/DEN 5-9, $6,756.00 prize money

Crew: Jeppe Blak, Niels Gramkov, Thomas Hartvig, Henning Lambertsen

7. Karol Jablonski/POL, Toscana Challenge 5-6, $6,080.00 prize money

Crew: Tom Baranowski, Piotr Przybylski, Markus Wieser, Jacek Wysocki

8. Jesper Bank/DEN 5-9, $4,729.00 prize money

Crew: Thomas Jacobsen, Time Nielsen, Morten Halkier, Henrik Blakskjaer

9th equal Mattias Rahm/SWE, Team Stena Bulk 6-4, $1,891.00 prize money

Crew: Johan Barne, Nikas Carlzon, Claes Dahlberg, Pontus Meijer

9th equal Gavin Brady/NZL, BMW Oracle Racing 5-5, $1,891.00 prize money

Crew: Dirk de Ridder, Ross Halcrow, John Kostecki, Brad Webb

9th equal Peter Holmberg/ISV, Team Alinghi 5-5, $1,891.00 prize money

Crew: Richard Bouzaid, Lorenzo Mazza, Will McCarthy, Dean Phipps

9th equal Bjorn Hansen/SWE 4-5, $1,891.00 prize money

Crew: Mattias Bredin, Fredrik Ekman, Gustav Kampolm, Anders Jönsson

9th equal Luc Pillot/FRA 2-7, $1,891.00 prize money

Crew: Gilles Andre, Fabrice Blondel, Erik Ferran, Frédéric Guilmin

9th equal Johnie Berntsson/SWE 2-7, $1,891.00 prize money

Crew: Henrik Hansson, Nils Bjerleas, Martin Berntsson, Robert Skarp

15th equal Staffan Lindberg/FIN 1-6 prize money

Crew: Johan Karlsson, Daniel Mattsson, Johan Mossberg, Daniel Wallberg

15th equal Michael Dunstan/AUS, OzBoyz Challenge 0-7 prize money

Crew: Glen Atrill, Wade Morgan, Ben Morrison, Nick Partridge