Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Matt Coutts (NZL), left, and Daniel Dahon. Image copyright Jean-Marie Liot/DPPI/FFVoile.
by Corinne Rolland-McKenzie
Nick-named "Le Chef" Daniel Dahon has been a main feature in the Finn arena, coaching Philippe Presti and Xavier Rohart for many years before continuing with Rohart in the Star.
At 70, Daniel Dahon has kept the same enthusiasm and drive for coaching and jumped at the opportunity to come to Hyères to coach 23 years old Matt Coutts, Russell’s nephew.
"I stopped coaching for the French team after Beijing, too old they told me! I have been away from the sailing circuit for two years and now very happy to be back!
"Ten days ago I was contacted by Russell Coutts’ secretary asking me if I was available to coach Matt Coutts. He is a really nice guy, a student. I knew he came from the Laser but wasn’t sure about his level in the Finn. I asked him what he expected from me and he told me : «You give me all you can!» I saw him sail yesterday for the first time. He has a good level, but lack experience. He started the Finn last year and never had a coach. He seems to be smart and has a good built for the Finn."
After the first day on the water the coach gives his first advice: "He needs to work on his drive downwind. Upwind he is fine. We talked about tactics and how to deal with the weather, his opponents. We have started to observe his rig, sails...It is interesting to start with a young motivated guy who wants to learn and progress."