Monday, 16 May 2011

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke Report on their NZL 49er Olympic Campaign

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke sailing their 49er. Supplied image.

by Peter Burling and Blair Tuke

Our NZ 2011 summer sailing/training in the 49er has been great fun – sailing with the top Australian sailors in NZ and also heading to Sydney twice was beneficial. Specialist guest coaches were also very helpful.

We won the NZ 49er nationals in March – was good to have an Australian crew sailing for extra competition. Peter has a new flat in Auckland now with a garage – yes a double garage! It is nice having our own space to set up boats, do repairs and make new yacht parts.

Over Easter weekend Blair raced the A class Catamaran nationals in his home waters of Kerikeri. The racing was great fun with nice 10‐15 knot winds over the 3 days and a good group of guys to race against. Blair finished 2nd overall to Luc de Bois, who placed 4th at last year’s worlds.

Our biggest news so far this year is that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has awarded us an Olympic Solidarity scholarship to help in qualification for the London Olympics 2012 – a huge help financially. We are very lucky to have this extra funding to help our campaign ... covering some flights, equipment, coaches, living allowance and high performance camps ‐ allowing us to concentrate full time on our 49er Olympic campaign.

With a lot of fitness training and sailing behind us over summer we are both really excited about our next Europe campaign, flying out this Monday. Medemblik in Holland is our first stop for round 5 of the Sailing World Cup circuit, followed closely by round 6 of the circuit in Weymouth, UK – the sailing venue for the 2012 Olympics.

Initially it will be a little frustrating as our container from NZ, (49er boat and gear) is running late. We are told rough weather and maybe a missed ship in Asia have our boat arriving in Rotterdam just 3 days before the regatta starts – fingers crossed there are no more delays on the wharf. Flights are changed to a later day and we are hoping that we don’t have to lease a 49er in Holland as it is not easy to find a good boat.

The events were are attending in Europe are:
Medemblik, The Netherlands racing 24‐29 May
Weymouth, UK racing 6‐11 June

We will keep you posted from Europe!

NZL Sailing Team