North Sails LOFT NEWS

MATT STEVEN JOINS NORTH SAILS, NEW ZEALAND

North Sails New Zealand has recently appointed 27-year-old Matt Steven to its Auckland sales team, bringing with him plenty of experience in keelboat and dinghy sailing.

Matt was brought up on boats, cruising with his family. He spent several years as mainsheet trimmer and tactician on the World Match Racing Tour and the Extreme Sailing Series, and was in the crew that finished second in the Youth America’s Cup in 2013. Matt is a previous New Zealand national keelboat and match racing champion, completed the 2014 SSANZ two-handed Round the North Island race, and is the current Mark Foy world and New Zealand national 18-foot skiff champion.

Starting his sailing career in Wellington in Optimists, P Class and Starlings, he moved into a Laser for four years, but started racing keelboats after deciding not to pursue an Olympic campaign. He was part of the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club’s youth training programme and learned the sailmaking trade in between competing overseas, developing his interest in the art and science of how to make boats go fast. He has worked for North since 2015.

Over winter Matt will be sailing regularly with various North Sails clients, including on Young Guns, which recently won its division at the Jack Tar Regatta.

He is also part of New Zealand’s top 18-foot skiff crew aboard Yamaha, sailing with David McDiarmid and Brad Collins. The team narrowly missed out on a historic win in this year’s JJ Giltinan series in Sydney, and have success in the 2018 event firmly in their sights, after competing against European skiffs at Lake Garda, Italy in July.

“We are trying some new, innovative things with the engine above the deck this year to try to give us an edge,” Matt says. “It’s great working with the team at North Sails, and meeting lots of new people. I am enjoying the challenge of using my knowledge to provide the best sails for customers.”