Sailing: Chieffi's double holds off future rivals: Close finish in first European Mumm 36 championship on a sun-drenched Solent

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The Independent Online
IN A series which produced six different winners from seven races, the only man to win twice, Italy's Tommaso Chieffi, took the first and hard-fought European Mumm 36 championship in a light wind on the sun- drenched Solent yesterday, writes Stuart Alexander.

Behind him and separated by only a quarter of a point were two men who will meet on the America's Cup track in San Diego later this year, France's Marc Pajot and the Spaniard Pedro Campos. Britain's best, David Bedford, was fourth in a campaign which only occasionally sparked into aggression.

There was also a cheer for the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Alan Green as he set courses yesterday over legs just 0.8 of a mile long. That produced a much sharper display from some top-line crews representing seven countries.

It also provided an encouraging showcase for the boat designated by RORC as the compulsory boat in the 1995 and 1997 Admiral's Cup. The hope that one design of yacht can be accepted for worldwide competition will be further underpinned if it can also find favour at club and national level.

In New Zealand, Peter Blake named Tom Schnackenberg, Brad Butterworth, Rick Dodson and Murray Jones to sail as afterguard to the America's Cup skipper Russell Coutts. The first of two new boats is due to be launched on 20 August.

EUROPEAN MUMM 36 CHAMPIONSHIP (Hamble): Race six: 1 P Mas (Corum); 2 P Campos (Rioja de Espana); 3 M Pajot (Citroen). Race seven: 1 T Chieffi (Vaporetto Poulti); 2 Pajot; 3 T Barrett (Bradamante). Overall: 1 Chieffi 21.5pts; 2 Pajot 25.75; 3 Campos 26.