Please select your home edition
Edition
Protector 728x90

America's Cup- Optimist World Champion helms AC45 + Video

by America's Cup Media on 3 Feb 2011
Chris Steele (18) helming the prototype AC45 Gilles Martin-Raget/Oracle Racing.com © http://www.oracleteamusamedia.com/
We may have seen a glimpse into the future of sailing today on board the AC 45.

Chris Steele, 18, of Auckland is a Laser and Moth sailor (and a former Optimist World Champion) with his eye on the America’s Cup. And today he got his first taste of it.

Steele was welcomed on board the AC 45 today and before he knew it, four-time Cup winner Russell Coutts offered the young sailor the helm.

'I was really lucky to get on the boat but I didn’t think I would get to steer it,' Steele said. 'It was awesome and really fun. It’s a really nice boat to sail … I didn’t even realize how fast we were going.'

The AC 45 is a boat designed with youth in mind to provide younger sailors with a path to the America’s Cup. Steele makes no secret of his aspirations.


'I want to make a living at sailing. I enjoy match racing so that’s a big factor at looking at the America’s Cup. Since I was 14 I wanted to go down the America’s Cup path.'

Steele found his way onto the path through New Zealand top international sailor Mike 'Moose' Sanderson. Steele was recruited by Sanderson to coach him in his new Moth. And Sanderson returned the favor by introducing him to Coutts.

'It’s really good for the youth guys,' Steele said. 'Up until now, it was a real process to get into the Cup. With this it seems like they’re trying to develop the youth guys.'

Although this wasn't a tryout for the team, more an opportunity to give a young sailor a big day out, a perhaps Steele will end up catching on with a team for the Youth America's Cup?


But, nothing in this life comes for free. After relinquishing the helm, Steele was given the task of grinding for wingsail trimmer Dirk de Ridder on the long sail back to base and no doubt found muscles he usually doesn't need on the Moth.

Also on board today and getting a few minutes on the helm was team design director Mike Drummond.

And Joe Newton, an integral member of the 'crash test dummies' - the test pilots for the AC45 - found himself in an interesting new 'box seat' at the back of the boat. Peanut gallery? Cheap seats? Owner's box? You decide.

Mackay BoatsPredictWind.com 2014Barz Optics - Floaters

Related Articles

America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on why Emirates Team NZ went cycling
How did the potentially game-breaking development to go to cycling grinders remain a secret for so long? After the revelation that Emirates Team NZ had switched from grinders to cyclists, how did the potentially game-breaking development remain a secret for so long? 'The team started work on the project three years ago, but the actual testing started 18-24 months ago,' explained skipper and Sailing Director, Glenn Ashby. 'The team has done well to keep it under wraps for all this time.
Posted today at 10:25 am
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ's Shoebridge on the campaign to date
ETNZ's COO on the 35th America's Cup, the growth of the team, and compared the current boat and Cup to previous editions Kevin Shoebridge is now COO of Emirates Team New Zealand, working alongside his long-time friend and nemesis CEO Grant Dalton. At last Thursday's AC50 christening and launch ceremony, Shoebridge spoke to top international sailing commentator, Peter Montgomery about the 35th America's Cup campaign, the change, and growth of the team, and compared the current boat and Cup to previous editions.
Posted today at 10:20 am
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ give first look at the pedaling AC50
Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. The team has been sailing for the previous two days making news headlines after it was revealed in Sail-World.com that the AC50 would become only the second yacht in America's Cup history to use pedal power.
Posted on 16 Feb
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ christen AC50 100 days from Cup
Emirates Team NZ christened their AC50 in a rain-marred ceremony at the team's Beaumont Street base Just 100 days out from the first race of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, Emirates Team New Zealand accomplishes the most significant milestone of its challenge for the 35th Americas Cup by christening their America’s Cup Class catamaran that will begin racing in Bermuda in May.
Posted on 16 Feb
America's Cup - Images from Oracle Team USA AC50 launch + Video
After unveiling their AC50 yesterday, Oracle Team USA launched their Defender today in Bermuda. After unveiling their AC50 yesterday, Oracle Team USA launched their Defender today in Bermuda. Top international photographer Carlo Borlenghi was on hand to capture the moment. Catch the moment on video, too
Posted on 15 Feb
Just 100 days to the start of the 35th America's Cup
Right across the beautiful island of Bermuda, preparations continue apace for the incredible events. Right across the beautiful island of Bermuda, preparations continue apace for the incredible events that will unfold, with racing taking place on the Great Sound.
Posted on 15 Feb
America's Cup - Images from Oracle Team USA AC50 unveiling in Bermuda
.Top international photographer Carlo Borlenghi was present in Bermuda at the Oracle Team USA unveiling of their AC50 Top international photographer Carlo Borlenghi was present in Bermuda at the Oracle Team USA unveiling of their AC50 and provided this gallery of images of the occasion. The AC50 was revealed for the first time, but was not launched or sailed.
Posted on 15 Feb
America's Cup - Kiwis sign Olympic Cyclist for the Tour de Bermuda
Ttop cyclist Simon van Velthooven, a 2012 Olympic Bronze cycling medallist had been signed by the America's Cup team Emirates Team New Zealand put in a second foiling display on Auckland's Waitemata harbour ahead of the official launching of their AC50 tomorrow. With brighter skies the cycling team took their places on the pedalstals and used leg power to provide the hydraulic pressure necessary to run the AC50's control systems for the foils and wingsail.
Posted on 15 Feb
Oracle Team USA celebrate completion of new America’s Cup Class boat
Oracle Team USA held a ceremony at its team base to reveal its new America’s Cup Class boat, “17” On Tuesday evening, Oracle Team USA held a ceremony at its team base to reveal its new America’s Cup Class boat, “17”, the foiling catamaran the team will race this summer in Bermuda.
Posted on 15 Feb
America's Cup - Emirates Team New Zealand reveal big AC50 breakthrough
Emirates Team New Zealand have splashed their new AC50 in Auckland this morning and revealed another break-though. Emirates Team New Zealand have splashed their new AC50 in Auckland this morning and have revealed another break-though. In the 2013 America's Cup the team designed the first foiling catamaran even though that concept was not contemplated in the rules. It was widely reckoned that they revealed their secret too early and other teams were able to copy in the time available.
Posted on 14 Feb