Sailor Ben Cornish has re-signed with INEOS Britannia for his second consecutive America's Cup campaign, joining as a Cyclor for the 37th America’s Cup due to be held in Barcelona in 2024.
Cornish grew up sailing on the Exe Estuary in Devon, and from an early age dreamt of competing at the Olympics . Training with many successful sailors out of Exe Sailing inspired Cornish to progress his sailing career professionally and at the age of 19 he was selected for the British Sailing Team to sail the single-handed Laser full-time.
Four years later, Cornish transitioned to the Finn class, a much more technical and personalised boat. He experienced great success in the class, winning a gold medal at the Finn World Cup Final in Santander in 2017. However, when the Finn lost its Olympic status for Paris 2024, Cornish’s sailing career transitioned into the America’s Cup.
Reflecting on last campaign, Cornish greatly enjoyed being a part of a new class of boat and integrating with the team. "The campaign went really fast, especially once we got to New Zealand. Being able to tick off manoeuvres that had never been done before in this class of boats was a great feeling.”
“After New Zealand, I was super hooked on the America’s Cup. I feel incredibly grateful that INEOS has continued to support the team with funding for a second campaign.”
An avid cyclist himself during his training for the Finn class, Cornish is now relishing the prospect of transitioning to a 'Cyclor' role for the AC37 campaign. With the AC75 foiling monohull now heading into its second generation, Cornish expects the focus of the upcoming campaign to be on finding the incremental gains crucial to success as the different teams' design concepts seen in AC36 begin to converge.
“The biggest challenge now is that each team has a campaign under their belt, there is going to be further refinement and knowledge for what we are doing. It is really exciting.”
Reflecting on Cornish's re-signing with the team, Team Principal and CEO of INEOS Britannia, Ben Ainslie added, “Cornish brings a huge amount of sailing talent amongst different boat classes to the team. His natural fitness lends itself perfectly to this style of America’s Cup boat. He has great character, always being able to lift the team spirit.”
Before the teams start sailing at the end of this year, Cornish has continued to stay 'race fit' by competing in other sailing circuits. “With all these new technical advances, it is important to remember how a boat races. You need to be powered around the racecourse with wind. Everything you learn growing up sailing is still important, and you have to be tap into that to stay sharp out on the water.”
Great to have you back, Cornish!