America's Cup 2021: Profiles - Joseph Sullivan (Emirates Team NZ)

  • 01/01/2021


Born: April 11, 1987 (33)

Role: Emirates Team NZ grinder

America's Cup campaigns: 2

After winning a rowing gold medal in the double sculls with Nathan Cohen at the 2012 London Olympics, Sullivan surprisingly retired to pursue a career as a firefighter, before turning his attention to America's Cup racing. 

The 33-year-old joined Team NZ as a grinder for the 2017 America's Cup. At that regatta, the New Zealand syndicate radically changed their approach, turning their grinders into 'cyclors' with a pedal-powered approach.

The Olympic champion helped power New Zealand to victory to regain the 'Auld Mug' for the first time in 17 years.

Sullivan made New Zealand history winning back-to-back gold medals in the double sculls at the 2010 and 2011 world championships, the first time a Kiwi premier double sculls combination had won a world title.

After his success at the London Olympics, the Picton local was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to rowing in 2013 New Year Honours. 

His remarkable success saw him known as 'The Pride of Picton'. Early in his career, Sullivan won five consecutive world titles at U23 and elite level. 

This year, he hopes to bring his second America's Cup back to the top of the south.