Olympic Rower Turns Cyclor

Olympic Rower to America’s Cup Cyclor, Britain’s Matt Rossiter joins INEOS Britannia as a Cyclor  

“I am so excited to be a part of the team, working together, and being a cog in the machine to make the boat go as fast as possible.” Meet Matt Rossiter, the newest recruit to INEOS Britannia Sailing Team, the Challenger of Record for the 37th America’s Cup. 

This is Matt’s debut in the world of professional sailing, after his recent retirement from the British Rowing Team. He earned his first Team GB vest in 2007 and competed in the Men’s Four at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, where Matt’s team finished fourth. 

The GBR Men's 4 - racing in Tokyo.

Matt comes from a sailing family and learned to sail in Christchurch, on the south coast of England. His grandfather was a boatbuilder, and Matt learned to love time on the water as he grew up. Initially he sailed as well as rowed, in dinghies like the Topper and Pico, until the age of 12 when rowing took over. 

Matt’s first memory of the America’s Cup was the 34th in San Francisco, back in 2013. “I have always been slightly obsessed with the Olympics, so it was fascinating to see Ben win Gold at London 2012, and then watch his comeback in 2013.” Ben Ainslie led the recovery of Oracle Team USA from 8-1 down, to an eventual 9-8 victory in the America’s Cup in 2013. 

Matt and his siblings sailing in Christchurch as a child.

For Matt, it feels as if he’s putting on his first GB vest all over again as he starts this new chapter in a new sport. “This is a pinch-me moment, and an opportunity I couldn’t pass up to be a part of this team. This is something I have always watched on TV, and now to be here is incredibly special.”   

As a professional rower for the past eight years, Matt can see a lot of cross-over in the two sports, particularly in the teamwork and communication required between the athletes and the team members. “I really enjoy working with close knit teams, in rowing this was in two-, four-, or eight-person boats, and now in sailing, this will be with the current eight other sailors on board. To get to the finish the fastest, you have to bring out the best in the people around you.”  

Matt, second from bow, and his teammates racing in Tokyo.

“Fresh out of the Tokyo Olympics, and a world champion rower, it’s great to have Matt joining the team,” commented Ben Ainslie, INEOS Britannia’s skipper and Team Principle. “Someone who knows how to train and operate at such a high level.  We need cyclors that can operate in a team environment, as well as having the grit and the determination to lay down the power needed to get the boat around the track.”  

Great to have you on-board Matt! We hope you don’t get seasick ?