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NZ Sailors of the Year are Hobart bound

by Peter Burling and Blair Tuke on 22 Dec 2013
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke - 2013 49er and 49erFX Worlds, Marseilles, France 49er Worlds http://www.49erworlds.org/

2013 NZ Sailors of the year, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke report on what they are up to over Christmas, and look back a very eventful year - highlight of which was adding World and European titles in the 49er, and winning the inaugrual Red Bull Youth America's Cup.

Our full-on 2103 finishes with the Sydney-Hobart race starting on Boxing Day. Blair is on 'Zefiro' a Farr 100 while Peter is on 'Pretty Fly III' a canting keel Cookson 50. It’s a race with so much history, and we are looking forward to being a part of the 69th addition. We completed a Survival-at-Sea course a couple of weeks ago with Al Gywer from SeaWise which taught us a lot and has helped keep our families reassured.


Being unbeaten in the 49er this year including winning the 49er Worlds and 49er Europeans champs, plus winning the inaugural Red Bull Youth America’s Cup with a great group of mates were highlights of 2013.

As individuals we were awarded the Supreme awards at the Bay Of Plenty (Pete), Northland and Far North (Blair) sports awards evenings.

Attending the golden anniversary of the YNZ award ceremony and being presented with the prestigious Sir Bernard Fergusson Trophy award for the Yachting New Zealand's Sailor of the Year by former winner Sir Russell Coutts was a special moment.


Our achievements this year have taken a lot of hard work from us and also from our team around us. It was good to have our family and most of our team at the awards and also to have all the other sailors who have done so well this year - including NZL Sailing Team's two other Olympic class world champion crews.

We’ve been training hard both in the 49er and our A-class catamarans. A-class guru Glenn Ashby has also been out in his cat which has made for some great training . The 18 foot long A-class is a single handed trapeze cat that has J-foils allowing it to semi foil downwind in around 12 knots of breeze. The 2014 A-class Worlds are in Takapuna in February and look likely to have an assortment of the worlds top sailors competing.


We are also looking forward to the 49er nationals and Sail Auckland at Akarana in Jan/Feb 2014.

A massive thank you to everyone – friends, family and supporters who have helped us achieve all we have in 2013.

Best wishes for Christmas and a safe and happy 2014, bring it on!

Pete and Blair.

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