Who inspired you to start sailing?
My granddad was a keen sailor and took me out on his boat when I was about 6.
My dad bought us an Enterprise. Slow but would fit the whole family.
First sailing club?
Royal Lymington Yacht Club.
Paul Stanbridge, James Stagg, Jason Carrington, Guy Salter. These were the top British bowmen when I was getting into it.
When did you know you wanted sailing to be a career rather than a hobby?
When I was in my teens I used to go to Cowes and see all of the rockstar sailors and cool boats taking part in the Admiral’s Cup. I wanted to do that one day.
What do you love most about sailing?
I love sailing as a pastime but the answer to that question has to be winning. There’s no feeling like it and it’s what we all strive for.
What has sailing taught you?
That you should never give up, never ever give up.
Favourite ever sailing race?
My first America’s Cup race is still a very proud moment for me. It was with GBR Challenge in 2002 and despite being heavy underdogs we only narrowly lost to Stars and Stripes.
How do you know when you have good form?
It tends to be just something you feel and usually comes hand in hand with confidence. It’s a great feeling when you are confident you will beat the opposition.
How do you keep going when you're on the limit?
By digging deep. If you’ve trained hard then you know your competition is struggling even more and it gives you a boost to see them lagging.
Probably winning the World Match Racing Tour with TEAMORIGIN in 2010.
If you weren't a sailor, what would you be?
No idea but I’d like to have been a pro surfer on the WCT tour. Would have been fun.
To do well in professional sailing you need to be hard working and low maintanence.
What other sports do you play now?
I love surfing and go every chance I get, it’s an addiction. I also play a bit of golf.
How do you spend your time when you are not sailing?
With the family. I’m away enough as it is!
Do you support any particular charities?
The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation.
Where do you see yourself in ten years time?
It’s hard to see myself doing anything other than sailing in or being involved with the America’s Cup. It’s the best thing in sailing and I will always have a passion for it.
‘I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.’ Vince Lombardi.
Best known in the sailing industry for being the ‘nicest man in the sport’, Matt Cornwell has campaigned for two America’s Cups; with Areva Challenge in 2007 and GBR challenge in 2003. A hugely experienced sailor in both monohulls and multi-hull, fleet and match racing, Matt joined Team Korea to compete on the 2012/13 ACWS.
He brings a wealth of achievements to Land Rover BAR – alongside his AC experience, he has won multiple championship titles and was part of the winning 2010 World Match Racing Championship team with BAR skipper, Ben Ainslie after enjoying a number of podium finishes on the 2010 circuit.
Matt also competed on the Med Cup circuit for five years and finished second in the 2008 Extreme Sailing Series with British entry, Team Origin. In 2014 he was back racing on the Extreme 40 circuit, as bowman for J.P. Morgan BAR.
• 2012/13 ACWS – Sailor with Team Korea
• 2013: Broke the ‘Round the Island Race Multihull record’ with J.P. Morgan BAR in the AC45
• 2007 – 32nd America’s Cup, Valencia – Spain, sailor with Areva Challenge (FRA)
• 2010: World Match Racing Champion with Teamorigin
• 2009: Maxi Worlds with Alfa Romeo – 1st Mini Maxi Div
• 2008: 1st – set the multihull record, Round the Island Race with Teamorigin Extreme 40
• 2003: 6th – Louis Vuitton Cup GBR Challenge