Jonathan ‘Jono’ Macbeth
Castor Bay, Auckland, New Zealand
Who inspired you to start sailing?
Sir Peter Blake really inspired me, I was an endurance athlete and we met at the kayak store I worked in. Together, Sir Peter and Russell Coutts brought me into Team New Zealand - without them giving me that opportunity I never would have been allowed to sail.
A little Sunbird sailing dinghy.
First sailing club?
I went straight into professional sailing in 1997 and my first club was the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.
Sir Peter Blake.
When did you know you wanted sailing to be a career rather than a hobby?
I just knew when I started, it’s what I wanted to do.
What do you love most about sailing?
I really like the competitive element. I’m highly competitive.
What has sailing taught you?
It makes you want to learn more, and keep learning and to keep motivated.
Favourite ever sailing race?
The last race of the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco.
How do you know when you have good form?
When you are physically and mentally prepared, the prep work has gone really well and you have done all you can do – that’s when you have good form.
How do you keep going when you're on the limit?
That’s what defines someone who is good, compared to someone who is great and at the top of their game. You break through the mental and pain threshold, to be a good sailor you have to be mentally very tough.
Winning the 34th America’s Cup fulfilled every dream, although it was a mixture of relief and stress – that was a stressful time.
If you weren't a sailor, what would you be?
Working somewhere in the sporting industry.
Never accept an absolute – always listen to other people’s opinions.
What other sports do you play now?
I cycle and ski - not for competitiveness, just pleasure.
Do you support any particular charities?
My wife and I also sponsor a little girl in Uganda, which came about a few years ago through a friend who regularly visited the country.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain
A three-times America’s Cup winner, New Zealand’s Jonathan ‘Jono’ Macbeth is the most successful and experienced America’s Cup (AC) sailor in the Land Rover BAR team. Jono’s Cup career started when he joined ‘Team New Zealand’ in 1997 ahead of their successful defense of the 31st America’s Cup in 2000. He moved across to BMW ORACLE Racing to campaign for the 33rd Cup in 2010 and claimed his second AC win in Valencia, Spain.
Most recently Jono shared AC success alongside Land Rover BAR skipper, Ben Ainslie, as a grinder on-board winning 34th America’s Cup team, ORACLE TEAM USA. His relationship with Ben dates back to 2007, when they joined forces on-board Team New Zealand to win the Louis Vuitton Cup in Spain. Jono will now take on a new position, as Land Rover BAR Sailing Team Manager, still keeping an active role on-board.
• 2013: Defender and Winner – 34th America’s Cup, with ORACLE TEAM USA
• 2010: Winner – 33rd America’s Cup, with BMW ORACLE Racing
• 2007: Challenger and runner up – 32nd America’s Cup, with Team New Zealand
• 2007: Winner – Louis Vuitton Cup, with Team New Zealand
• 2003: Defender and runner up – 32nd America’s Cup, with Team New Zealand
• 2000: Defender and winner – 31st America’s Cup, with Team New Zealand