RNZYS Performance Programme ready to challenge on Sydney Harbour
Tuesday, December 6, 2016 9:34 AM
RNZYS Performance Programme, sponsored by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, has become the second of two wildcard teams to announce their challenge to the regular line-up at the final Act of the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™, from 8-11 December on Sydney Harbour.
Following the announcement of wildcard entry Team Australia last week, the addition of RNZYS Performance Programme brings the longstanding and fierce sporting rivalry between Australia and New Zealand to the Extreme Sailing Series stadium.
The team will be led by Kiwi Chris Steele, who brings experience as a two-time New Zealand Match Racing champion, as well as GC32 expertise.
"It's an extremely exciting opportunity to be here racing against guys who have been competing all season," said Steele, who has recently been awarded one of only three Tour Cards for the 2017 World Match Racing Tour.
"We've handpicked the best guys from the youth Performance Programme at the RNZYS who race in the foiling Nacra 20s, which has given them a good taste of foiling."
Sharing his knowledge from the fast-paced world of Stadium Racing, Steele continued: "My advice to the youth members of the team is to be prepared. It's a high-paced style of racing that many of them won't have experienced before and there's no room for errors. You just need to be sharp with your thinking, extremely physical and really put everything into it."
Joining Steele as mainsheet trimmer and tactician is Graeme Sutherland. Twice Youth Match Racing International champion, Sutherland is coach and manager for the RNZYS Youth Training Programme's foiling squad.
The remainder of the crew consists of a selection of highly talented youth sailors from the foiling squad, who will take it in turns onboard the GC32 throughout the Act.
Logan Dunning Beck boasts the recent accomplishment of being the 2016 Weymouth Sailing World Cup champion in the 49er, while Harry Hull and Josh Salthouse are both crew members of 36 Below Racing match racing team alongside Steele.
Tim Snedden is an accomplished Skiff sailor who brings valuable GC32 experience to the table having had a month of training, and fellow floater Luca Hyatt Brown has competed in a range of classes including the 420 and TP52.
The team will take their place on the start-line in just two days time as the grand finale of the 2016 season gets underway, with a mix of open water and Stadium Racing. Find out more about the event and how to follow here.