Hönö, Sweden (30th November 2016) – Chris Steele and his 36 Below Racing is the first team to announce their Tour Card for the World Match Racing Tour 2017 season. The match racer from Auckland, New Zealand is ready to put his bid in for the World Championship title in match racing 2017.

The young Kiwi made a clear statement of his future potential by denying six-time World Champion Ian Williams the entry to the semi-finals during the world finals in Marstrand. This feat together with many others, a persistent drive towards the World Match Racing Tour and a high World Sailing ranking has awarded him one of only three wild cards.

“We have been chasing the Tour Card for several seasons now and we have been falling short every time so we are super happy to have it for the 2017 season.” Skipper Chris Steele comments and continues, “This will allow us to make a plan for the full season which will help our results and it will hopefully allow us to find more sponsorship funding.”

36 Below Racing is built on a multinational team with himself from New Zealand, Dan Morris from the USA and Fredrik Aurell from Sweden. The tactician spot is currently vacant and the team is testing several different options. “We’ve built a team that has plenty of power and stamina and our personalities work well together. We’ll have to replace Ben Lamb who’s joined Softbank Team Japan for the Americas Cup this year but except for that we’re ready to go.” Steele says, reassuring that what we saw at the end of last season is only the beginning. “We know we have the capacity to win the World Championship. It’s going to be tough but we will throw everything we’ve got at it.” Steele says. He currently sits in 5th place on World Sailing Open Match Race rankings and has already started to prepare for next season. “We are looking for sponsorship so that we can buy an M32 catamaran but in the meantime we’re trying to sail as much as we can on different types of boat with apparent wind sailing like Skiffs, Moths, Nacras, GC32s and off course M32s. We as a team will go in to the season better prepared than ever.” Chris finishes.

Name: Chris Steele

Nationality: New Zealand

Team name: 36 Below Racing

Yacht Club: Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron

Year of birth: 1992

Result WMRT 2016: 6th place

Chris Steele’s Tour Card is the first of 10 WMRT Tour Cards to be announced.

For more information on Chris Steele and 36 Below Racing please visit wmrt.com/skippers/chris-steele.

Watch the team’s Tour Card presentation video HERE