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AC36 & VOR: ETNZ's Peter Burling will continue with the Volvo as he and Blair Tuke weigh another Olympic 49er bid

Saturday, March 3, 2018

AUCKLAND – [Kiwi America's Cup helmsman Pete Burling]  will do the next demanding leg through the Southern Ocean around Cape Horn and up to Brazil. He hopes to stay involved beyond that as much as he can while juggling his America's Cup commitments. He rates his first taste of the Southern Ocean from Cape Town to Melbourne as his most enjoyable leg so far. "That's why I'm looking forward to this next one. There were some hairy moments but it's a lot more a battle of speed and how hard you are willing to push things. It seems like your decisions have a lot more weight because there is a lot more risk down there. You need to keep everyone safe and keep the boat in one piece." Burling confirmed he and Tuke were eager to continue their Olympic program at Tokyo 2020 if possible, having won silver in London and gold in Rio."That's something that is simmering away in the background. Blair and myself have always had that passion for Olympic sailing," he said. "We really enjoy sailing the 49ers and the racing aspect of that, it's really good for our skills."But it's just trying to make sure it works. We won't do it if we don't think we can give it a good crack. That's something with Olympic sport – you have to be able to give it 100 per cent. "We are in a slightly different spot with all our Team New Zealand commitments and other things we have got going on compared to last time. There is going to have to be a fair bit of planning around all that but we are definitely keen to make it all work."  –Duncan Johnstone (NZL) writing this morning (Sunday in NZL) on the stuff.co.nz website. Full story.

 

As many of our regular readers will know, in his first edition of the Volvo Ocean Race Mr Burling is racing aboard Team Brunel. He is quoted by Duncan as saying it has been a huge learning experience. However, Pete finds himself in the unaccustomed position near the back of the fleet – currently 6th place out of seven.

 

Blair Tuke (NZL), Burling's Olympic crew for both the 2012 Games (49er Class silver) and 2016 Games (gold), and teammate on AC35-winning Emirates Team New Zealand, is also racing in the Volvo aboard current leader MAPFRE. No official word on whether Mr Tuke will continue in the Volvo, nor did Duncan mention it in this morning's article, but one hears that Blair will indeed continue, at least for the next two legs – Auckland to Itajaí, Brazil, and thence to Newport, RI.

 

Assuming Blair continues through the balance of the race, and MAPFRE continues their winning ways, he would become the first yachtsman to win our sport's "Triple Crown" – an Olympic gold, the America's Cup, and the Volvo Ocean Race. John Kostecki (USA) has come closest, having won the AC, the VOR and an Olympic silver (Soling Class, Korea, 1988) – at Sailing Illustrated (thanks, Betsy Altman Barrett) we call it sailing's "Trifecta." 

 

Peter Burling (NZL) helming Team Brunel during the current (2017-18) edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, and said today he will continue at least for the next leg around Cape Horn to Brazil which begins from Auckland on March 18. Photo: VOR/Martin Keruzore.

 

Current VOR standings with Blair Tuke's team, MAPFRE, in the lead. Peter Burling is racing with Team Brunel, standing 6th out of seven.

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