Martin Kirketerp of the Denmark SailGP Team is one of the global championship’s select athletes that has achieved Olympic success, and his experiences at the highest levels of the sport are invaluable to the Danish squad.
Alongside twin brothers Lars-Peter and Hans-Christian Rosendahl, Kirketerp will help guide the Danes’ intriguing group of grinders that has a strong mix of youth and competitive wisdom.
He grew up sailing a variety of small, single-hand boats in Aarhus before moving to the 49er class and becoming a force on the international race scene.
At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Kirketerp and his partner Jonas Warrer had a comfortable lead heading into the final round of the 49er class event, when their mast broke. Needing just a seventh-place finish to secure the gold medal, the Danes were lent a boat by the Croatian team that didn’t qualify, finishing seventh in the round and adding their names to their country’s long list of Olympic champions.
Following the Beijing Games, Kirketerp joined the World Match Racing Tour and eventually found himself on Team Sanya competing in multiple legs of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race.
Kirketerp joins the Danish team bringing two recent world titles with him – in the TP52 and RC44 classes – in 2017 and 2019, respectively.
When he’s not racing, Kirketerp likes to stay close to the water, and especially enjoys kite foiling and kite surfing.
He points to legendary Danish sailing coach Finn Beton as the most influential person in his career, fondly remember he passed along more than just how to sail a boat but how to be a sailor.