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Matt was introduced to sailing whilst cruising on his family’s Young 88 in Wellington and the Marlborough Sounds. He progressed through the New Zealand junior classes before finding his competitive feet in the Laser class and being selected for the New Zealand High Performance Squad. After the Laser, he sailed the OK Dinghy for a year, placing 3rd at the World Championship and first placed junior.
Matt then took up match racing, both helming and crewing. His highlights include winning the Youth Match Racing Nationals in 2008 and the New Zealand Open Nationals in 2011. He sailed in the 2013 Extreme Sailing Series as a bowman/tactician and trimmer and placed 2nd at the Youth America’s Cup.
Matt has also sailed the Farr 40 Worlds and Etchells Worlds and won various NZ keelboat regattas, including Bay Week and Auckland Regatta. Recently, 18-foot Skiff racing has taken up the majority of his time.
In March 2018, Matt Steven and his team Honda Marine claimed the most desired prize in the 18-footer class, the JJ Giltinan Trophy. It was the first time in 45 years that New Zealanders won this event, which is considered the world championship of 18-foot skiff racing. As a result, they were recently named Orbit World Travel Sailors of the Year, demonstrating their remarkable comeback at the worlds, and another successful year for sailing and boating in New Zealand.
Matt still loves getting out cruising when he can, and he’s made a goal to explore the Hauraki Gulf.