NZL 49er home from 49er World Championships
by Peter Burling and Blair Tuke on 16 May 2012
NZL 49er crew and 2012 Olympic Representatives Peter Burling and Blair Tuke report from between regattas - back in New Zealand:
Top 10, Medal race "Pit Lane" Nikola Sisko
It’s a great feeling to have defended our Silver Medal at the just completed 49er sailing World Championships in Zadar, Croatia. Thanks to Yachting NZ and our coach Jez Fanstone.
With beautiful sunny weather - most days nearly 30 deg – it was sunnies, hats and rash top conditions. A light Mediterranean sea breeze came in before lunch each day, occasionally maxing out at 10 knots. The Worlds were superbly run at a stunning venue.
How ironic that with last week’s beautiful warm weather in Zadar, it was too windy for our plane to take off ... meaning we had to take the bus 300km to Zagreb to start the trip home - getting home a day late. Zadar was the perfect venue to polish up and tick off our light wind skills.
The racing was extremely close with even the smallest mistakes punished. A very consistent qualifying series of 9 races (all race results < eighth) had us qualifying into Gold Fleet in fifth place overall. Marcus and Josh, our NZ training partners, also made the gold fleet.
Eight races were scheduled for gold fleet – another chance to move up the rankings.
We were initially happy with how we sailed in gold fleet, including our first race win, and moved to within striking distance of the leader - our Australian friends Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen. Racing on the last day didn’t totally go as we had hoped, meaning we had to turn our focus to staying in front of the French so we could secure the silver.
Not quite the finish we were hoping for, but still an awesome week and great to come away with the Silver Medal at the 2012 World Championships. Congratulations to Nathan and Iain for retaining their World 49er title for the fourth time.
Congrats also to Marcus and Josh, making the medal race for the first time in a major regatta, with a fantastic result finishing sixth overall. Having another good boat at home will help our training through to the Olympics.
We are home for 11 days to debrief, recuperate and get a few more days sailing in before heading back to the Olympic venue in Weymouth. The Sail-for-Gold regatta in Weymouth will be our last warm-up before the Olympics.
Sail-for-Gold racing is 4-9 June. Website ... www.skandiasailforgoldregatta.co.uk
TVNZ Television ONE, Sport News, did a piece last night on our arrival back in Auckland including us sailing at last Decembers Worlds in Perth.
http://tvnz.co.nz/olympics-2012/olympic-sailors-return-world-champs-silver-video-4889727!Click_here to view
Thanks for all the support. Peter and Blair.