Silver medalists in the 49er class in the 2012 Olympics, will head a group of talented young sailors selected to represent New Zealand in the Red Bull Youth America's Cup in San Francisco this September.
They have been joined by three other team members from the NZL Sailing Team, and two leading sailors who have already made their mark on the international keelboat scene.
Skipper of the seven strong team will be Peter Burling, who has already skippered for Team Korea in the America's Cup World Series, sailed in AC45 catamarans - the wingsailed one design, developed as an entry level boat for the 34th America's Cup.
Burling is expected to be the only skipper in the Youth AC event, who has previously skippered an AC45 competing in the ACWS. He was a late replacement for 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist in the 49er class, Nathan Outteridge - who left the Korean team soon after the 2012 Olympics, to join America's Cup Challenger, Artemis Racing (SWE) as a possible helmsman.
In the AC45's, skippers from the 49er class, with their experience in apparent wind sailing have proved to have short learning curves, and several have helmed in past events on the ACWS.
The support of Emirates Team New Zealand provides this entry to the 2013 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, submitted by Yachting New Zealand, automatic entry to the September regatta, and the team will be known as the NZL Sailing Team with Emirates Team New Zealand.
Six sailors will race the AC45 during the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Regatta, but the NZL Sailing Team with Emirates Team New Zealand has named seven sailors including a reserve. The seven sailors are:
Peter Burling – Skipper Blair Tuke – Tactician Andy Maloney Jono Spurdle Jason Saunders Guy Endean Sam Meech
Skipper, Peter Burling says that all seven sailors are delighted to be selected for the highly coveted positions on the team and ready to embrace the opportunity which is now open to them.
'I’m really confident that we have a great group of guys together,' says Burling.
'We’ve had great input from some of the Emirates Team New Zealand guys including Joey Allen and Glen Ashby which has been awesome. Plus we’ve had the bonus of some training time on an ETNZ AC45 already, which is invaluable.'
Burling’s 2012 Olympic partner, 23 year old Blair Tuke is on the team as tactician. The Olympic silver medallist from Northland was recently crowned 2013 National Champion in the A-Class catamaran and sailed his first Sydney to Hobart Race in December.
Another three sailors are existing members of the NZL Sailing Team, New Zealand’s top tier Olympic campaigners. Laser sailors Andy Maloney (22 years) and Sam Meech (21 years), along with Olympic 470 sailor Jason Saunders (22 years) have all been named on the NZL Sailing Team with Emirates Team New Zealand.
Andy Maloney not only delivered a Laser World Championship podium finish last year with a bronze medal, but additionally he brings multihull experience having raced recent international Extreme 40 events with the Oman Air team.
The youngest sailor named today Sam Meech has risen from winning a gold medal at the Youth World Championships in 2009 and continued to display remarkable talent with top level results in the hotly competitive open Laser international fleet.
Jason Saunders was one half of the Men’s 470 crew to represent New Zealand at the London 2012 Olympic Games, producing one of the less lauded yet very impressive results of the New Zealand team with a fifth place in the duo’s debut Olympics.
Jono Spurdle (21 years) brings both strength as well as keelboat match racing nous to the team having campaigned with young New Zealand match racing team Full Metal Jacket over recent years.
And Guy Endean (23 years) is another talented keelboat sailor who travelled as shore crew with New Zealand’s Volvo Ocean Race entry Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand
Six of the seven also represented their school and country in school teams sailing at the top level in New Zealand and against Australia, as well as other development programs.
The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup is a four day regatta sailed between first – 7th September in San Francisco featuring national teams of six sailors racing in AC45 catamarans, the same boats used for the America’s Cup World Series regattas, the final of which will take place in Naples, Italy in late April.
The Emirates Team NZ AC45 will compete in the Naples event, but with regular skipper Dean Barker on the helm. The event provides a competitive interlude, while the team's AC72's are in transit from Auckland to San Francisco.
To be eligible for the inaugural Youth America's Cup sailors must hold a national passport and be aged between 19 and 24 years. Those named in the NZL Sailing Team with Emirates Team New Zealand have been chosen after an application and selection process which was a collaborative effort between Yachting New Zealand and Emirates Team New Zealand.
A second New Zealand team, Full Metal Jacket, will trial for another of the available place in San Francisco, in a series starting in the America's Cup venue, later this month.
Peter Burling DOB: 1/1/1991 Position: Skipper Yacht Club: Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat Club Sailing Career Highlights:
49er class -Olympic Silver Medal – London 2012 Olympic Games Double Silver medallist 49er World Championship (2011 and 2012) Youngest sailor at Beijing 2008 Olympics – finished 11th in 470 class (aged 17) 420 World Champion 2006 and 2007 aged 15 and 16.
Blair Tuke – Tactician DOB: 27/7/1989 Position: Tactician Yacht Club: Kerikeri Cruising Club Sailing Career Highlights:
49er class -Olympic Silver Medal – London 2012 Olympic Games Double Silver medallist 49er World Championship (2011 and 2012) 29er World Champion 2009 & Splash World Champions 2006
Andy Maloney DOB: 2/6/1990 Yacht Club: Murrays Bay Sailing Club Sailing Career Highlights:
Bronze Medal 2012 Laser World Championship Silver Medal 2012 ISAF Sailing World Cup – Hyeres Winner 2007 Laser Radial Men’s Youth World Championship