Q&A with Mattias Coutts

Q&A with Mattias Coutts

Mattias Coutts teamed up with Cailen Rochford recently to finish on top of a top-class fleet of 40 boats at the 29er national championships in the Bay of Islands. Regional support officer Hayden Whitburn caught up with the former O’pen Skiff world champion to talk to him about his background and where he wants to take his sailing.

When did you start sailing and what pathway did you take?

I started in an Optimist when I was seven and Dad used to paddle around in the kayak. I remember doing a Sir Peter Blake regatta and not knowing where the course was after it had been explained to me for about 30 minutes. I sailed out to the wrong course and my boat filled up with water and I capsized. After that I remember not knowing where the start line was but, by pure fluke, I crossed the fleet on port. 

I really started to fall in love with sailing when I was about 10 and started properly racing and then even more so when I started 29er and WASZP sailing when I was 11.

I enjoyed sailing the O’pen Bic (now O’pen Skiff) more than the Optimist because it had more of a fun and group-sharing environment than the Optimist. I also liked the fact that the class went to so many different places, which was great fun and helped me build experience. The skiff, I think, is also a better boat to learn in and is much tippier, which helps people learn that the worst thing that can happen is you fall into the water.

Was the RS Feva a good stepping stone for the 29er?

I didn’t do too much RS Feva sailing but when I did I enjoyed it. It was a good boat to learn some of the basics of double-handed sailing, like communication, working together and hearing out the other person’s opinion on things. I think it’s a good learning boat to progress into a 29er.

You went over to the AC Endeavour event in Bermuda during the 2017 America’s Cup. What was the best thing about it?

The general scene and place was amazing. It was a great opportunity and one I was very lucky to experience. I remember it feeling really cool to represent New Zealand and Matthew Rist and I both really enjoyed watching the America’s Cup boats flying around the harbour. We also really enjoyed meeting and racing against the other people there in the Hobie.

Mattias Coutts
Mattias Coutts enjoys sailing lots of different boats like the Moth. Photo: Supplied.

When did you team up with Cailen in the 29er?

Cailen and I have been sailing together for just under two years.

What was your main ambition leading into the 29er nationals and what sorts of things did you do in training going into the regatta? 

We were trying to win the nationals.

We focused a lot on our tactics and light-wind speed before the nationals. We tried to go to every regatta or racing opportunity to test our speed and keep learning all the time and seeing things over and over.

We were sailing as much as possible, about four times a week, and also did lots of running because we were a bit too heavy for the boat. Unfortunately, Cailen had a back injury close to the nationals and couldn’t do too much training.

How did it feel winning the 29er nationals? Was this your first national title?

We were extremely exited as it was the first national titles both of us had won. We felt we had both worked really hard in the lead-up to the event both mentally and physically.

What do you like most about the sport? 

There are so many different things I love about the sport because there are so many different aspects to sailing. I love racing and learning new things from small things to the bigger things. I really enjoy sailing double-handed boats and also really enjoy foiling. And I also really enjoy sailing different classes of boats.

What’s next?  

I’m starting to crew for Jake Pye and will be doing that for the next 6-12 months and we will have a big group of WASZPs sailing out of Manly training for the WASZP Games [world championships in New Zealand] next year. And hopefully a bit of moth sailing as well.

What are your future goals?

I want to win the Olympics in the 49er and win SailGP helming a New Zealand team. I also want to try to win the 29er worlds and youth worlds. Ultimately, I want to be the best ever.    

  • Main pic: Mattias Coutts and Cailen Rochford on their way to winning the 29er national title. Photo: Bay of Islands Yacht Club.

Sailing by yachtingnz.org.nz


Popular Listings

  • Boutique Devonport Office
    Positioned on the first floor overlooking busy Victoria Street, Devonport Library and Windsor Reserve. Located in the heart of Devonport, this professional office at 33 Victoria Road has excellent profile along with access to the recently redeveloped Devonport Wharf. The office has exclusive use of a kitchenette and shared use of toilet facilities. Floor area: Approx. 49.6m² Car parking: Available upon request Features: - Superb location - Variety of cafes and eateries nearby - Air conditioning - Close proximity to Devonport wharf - Flexible availability For more information and an appointment to view this well appointed space, please contact the SOLE AGENTS at NAI Harcourts today.
  • Boutique Devonport Retail
    Shop 1 is a superb bite-sized opportunity to secure your place in the heart of Devonport. This arcade tenancy comprises of 32m² with exclusive facilities. The Arcade is home to a range of businesses including a cafe, Barber, Hairdresser and boutique retailers including 4 first floor office suites. With high pedestrian foot traffic off Victoria Road and street profile via Wynyard Street, this position will be hard to beat. The Total weekly cost is only $311 + GST per week (including outgoings). Features: - Superb location - Natural light - Character brick arcade - Close proximity to Devonport wharf - Through access to Wynyard Street - Short term retail opportunity for the right tenant - Available now Available Options - Shop 9: 30 m² For more information and an appointment to view this well appointed space, please contact the SOLE AGENTS at NAI Harcourts today.
  • 7.5% return on this tenanted investment! $1,626,000
    FOR SALE: Looking for a commercial investment property returning better than 7.0%? Check out this smart, modern two-level office building situated only minutes from the Papakura motorway interchange and a short walk through the town centre to the railway station. Well presented, the road front 605m² (approx.) building offers well-lit office space with a mix of open plan and partitioned areas. Including storage to the rear, accessed via a roller door there are 9 car parks on-site, 7 in front and two under cover. New 3+2+2 year lease from 3 January 2020 at $122,000 pa net (+gst) to Integrity Business Solutions Ltd (Payroll & HR Specialists). Don't miss this opportunity, our South Island vendors want it sold! For sale $1,626,000 (+GST) if any (7.50% return). For more information and an appointment to view please contact the Sole agent. To download the property file please paste this link into your browser: http://www.propertyfiles.co.nz/property/NSC29924
  • Practical Trade Unit
    Highly functional office/warehouse unit available for lease. The space is currently configured with shop front, bi-folding doors set inside the roller door at the entrance of the Warehouse. If the bi-folds suit your business that's great! But if not, they can easily be removed, thus reverting the space back to its original intended use as a Warehouse. Key Features: - 72m² warehouse - Mezzanine office (30m²) - Roller door / bi fold doors - Two allocated car parks Call the sole agents at NAI Harcourts today.
  • Takapuna Retail Showroom and Warehouse
    Situated in the heart of sought after Barrys Point Road in Takapuna, these large retail showroom, warehouse and office premises totalling approx. 1,462m² are available on a new lease from 1st August 2020. Offering wide street frontage with excellent exposure and large front yard for display purposes or customer parking this building has been occupied for the last 10 years as a successful Motorcycle Dealership providing sales, accessories and service facilities. Comprising retail showroom of approx 524m², mezzanine office 186m² and warehousing and storage of 752m² the premises include 6 car parks on the front yard, further 9 at the rear and option for additional basement car parks. Only 3 minutes north of the Harbour Bridge, Barrys Point Road is home to many outdoor sports, trade retail, automotive, furniture and service retail type uses. Call now to arrange an inspection of this exceptional opportunity.
  • High Profile Wairau Warehouse / Showroom 916.72m²
    Now available! This 916.72m² (approx) high-stud warehouse / showroom is one not to be missed. Located in the heart of the Wairau Valley, the site makes for an ideal trade or bulk retail location. Featuring a highly flexible open plan layout, the high stud warehouse can be configured to provide as much showroom and warehouse as your business requires. Retail access is at the front and full height roller door at the rear. Adjacent to the roller door is a designated container drop off area. Access is a dream and is complemented well by the use of 14 dedicated carparks plus half share of an additional 22! Be where the action is! Direct neighbours include Mitre 10 Mega, Pak'n Save and Bunnings Warehouse. The site has fantastic exposure to Wairau Road and great signage opportunity. Motorway access is only 800m down the road at the Tristram Avenue interchange. Approximate Area Breakdown: Breakdown: - Warehouse / showroom - 710.69 - Office and amenities - 206.03 - Car parks (dedicated) - 14 car parks - Car parks (half-share) - 22 car parks Call the joint sole agents at NAI Harcourts today.