Suffolk sailor joins Ben Ainslie for Americas Cup bid
- Credit: C.GREGORY / INEOS TEAM UK
A Suffolk man is preparing to take part in the final of one of sailings most prestigious events, The Americas Cup.
Tim Carter, who went to Woodbridge School and whose family live in Waldringfield, is currently in New Zealand where he is preparing to take on one of sailings biggest challenges.
Mr Carter is part of Ineos Team UK, headed up by former Olympic champion sailor Sir Ben Ainslie, which has qualified for the final of the Americas Cup in its boat Britannia.
Mr Carter discovered his passion for sailing while living in Suffolk as a youngster.
“I started sailing when my sister, Alice, started with her friend at the local club (Waldringfield),” said Mr Carter in an interview with Woodbridge School.
“I loved it instantly.”
Mr Carter quickly showed aptitude in the sport.
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“Growing up, I had competed in junior and youth competitions (age group), both nationally and internationally,” said Mr Carter.
“Fortunately, my results from these events were good enough that I could join the British Sailing Team.
“This is the Olympic squad training group for the people who are trying to represent GB at the Olympics, but also at the major events; World Championships, European Championships etc.”
From Woodbridge he went to study business at Portsmouth University which gave him the opportunity to sail whenever he wanted.
Now Mr Carter is part of the 15 strong team looking to win the Americas Cup from Britain for the first time ever.
His role is primarily as a grinder, a physical role which helps keep the boat going.
“This is how the boat is powered: there is no stored power to move everything on the boat,” said Mr Carter.
“As grinders, we have to grind into a hydraulic bank, which is then used by Ben [Ainslie] and the trimmers to change the sails, hydrofoils and keep the boat going as fast as possible.
“As a grinder, you are training before you are lucky enough to be selected by a team. The last four years have been incredibly intense, training between 15-20 hours a week in the gym, around the grinding on the boat itself.”
Despite the physically demanding role Mr Carter is enjoying his time on the boat.
“This is my first America’s Cup as a grinder, and I’m incredibly fortunate to be involved with such a good team,” said Mr Carter.
“I am incredibly fortunate to have been selected in the first place; there are only 15 of us in the sailing team and this team is full of the best sailors in the world. But to try and win the America’s Cup for Britain for the very first time would be truly special. We have a big challenge on our hands.”
Shona Norman, Head of Woodbridge School, said: “All of us at Woodbridge School are in awe of Tim’s phenomenal success on the water; we could not be prouder.
“We wish Tim all the very best for the period ahead of him and know that we are supporting him every step of the way from the other side of the world.”
Mr Carter’s team now have to face the Italian Team, Luna Rossa, in a best of 13 race series event, the winner of which will take on New Zealand for the cup itself.