NZ Extreme Sailing Team (RNZYS PP) enlists multihull expert Mike Drummond

The Extreme Sailing Series. Act 3. Madeira, Portugal. Racing close to the shore and the city of Funchal
Credit – Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images

Kiwi multihull expert Mike Drummond has been influential in the boat design for four winning America’s Cup campaigns, and now he has been enlisted by NZ Extreme Sailing Team to help in Madeira in its drive to win the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series™.

While the New Zealand team has already benefitted from the coaching of two other legendary names in sailing; US double-Olympic medallist Rod Davis and America’s Cup and offshore sailor Tony Rae, Drummond brings a new angle to its development.

“I’m trying to provide a more technical viewpoint to the young Kiwi sailors. Obviously, multihulls are still yachts but they have some quirks with their performance characteristics,” Drummond explained.

“The basic physics are just a bit different to monohulls so I’m helping to explain this, mixed with a little bit of traditional coaching; suggesting different trims and techniques,” he added.

“Mike definitely brings a lot to the table, to have him in Madeira is a big win,” said Chris Steele, co-skipper and helm of NZ Extreme Sailing Team.

“He adds a lot of knowledge and technical expertise to our set up and the way we mode the boat,” added Steele, whose New Zealand-flagged syndicate is a new entry to the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series.

“We are very fortunate to have access to a wealth of knowledge with Mike Drummond, he’s well known as guru in design and multihull development and is as technical as they come,” said Graeme Sutherland, co-skipper and mainsail trimmer of the Kiwi team.

“Rod Davis brought a lot to the team on the water strategically, he has a depth of experience across multiple campaigns. He was coaching Emirates Team New Zealand through the foiling evolution of our sport,” explained Sutherland.

“We are investing in adding as much depth to the team as possible and Mike’s goal for Madeira is to up-skill us in the physics of our programme, where Rod’s focus for China [Act 2] was getting the right chemistry and formulas in place,” added Sutherland.

“Overall, I’m impressed they’re at a pretty high level already and they’ve got there by doing a lot of sailing and matching observations with improvements, they clearly are the future these young guys,” said Drummond, who arrived in Madeira early with the team to do some training before the event. “The technical side that I can help them with a wee bit, that takes a long time to learn anyway so nothing will change overnight.”

“There’s been a lot of excitement about Emirates Team New Zealand winning the 35th America’s Cup,” explained Drummond, who lives in Auckland. “But the team here has not taken anything for granted. The last Cup race happened, they had a beer, then they got focussed on this regatta.”

Drummond explained what it is about multihull boats that he loves so much: “It doesn’t matter if you’re racing or just sailing by yourself, they’re just beautiful to sail.”

“I think the GC32 is really nice, they’ve got a got a good combination in that they act like a big boat in some respects but they’re still got plenty of feel to them,“ added Drummond, commenting on the hydro-foiling GC32 catamaran that the crews sail in the Extreme Sailing Series.

Extreme Sailing Series 

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