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Sailor of the Year - Burling and Tuke claim top award for fourth time

by Yachting on 25 Nov 2016
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke with High Performance Sport New Zealand CEO Alex Baumann - Photo// Sjaan Ellis Yachting NZ
Gold medalists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have again stamped a firm mark in New Zealand’s sailing history books, being honored with the sport’s top award for the fourth consecutive year.

The acclaimed 49er skiff team were named the winners of the 2016 HRG Sailor of the Year at the Volvo Yachting Excellence Awards last night, proving they are truly in a league of their own following a dominant Olympic campaign which culminated in Rio gold this year.

Burling and Tuke made history last year when they won the Sir Bernard Fergusson Trophy for the third time – a feat no other individual or crew had ever achieved since it was first awarded in 1963. [Find the archives here] This year, the pair push that record just a little further out of reach, with their names to be engraved on the historic trophy for 2013, 2014, 2015, and now 2016.

The Aon Emerging Talent award, recognizing outstanding achievement for sailors under the age of 21, went to Eli Liefting and Rose Dickson from the Royal Akarana Yacht Club following their season’s results in the FS Feva Class including winning a national title earlier this year.

The 2016 Volvo Young Sailor of the Year was awarded to Laser Radial sailor George Gautrey from Wellington in recognition of his outstanding results in the class this year.

Other award recipients named tonight were Nespresso Coach Of the Year David Slyfield from High Performance Sport New Zealand, Zhik Official of the Year John Parrish, and the Yachting New Zealand President’s Award supported by Fuji Xerox, which was awarded to the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club.

HRG Sailor of the Year:
Peter Burling (Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat Club) and Blair Tuke (Kerikeri Cruising Club).

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have delivered a dominant Olympic campaign, culminating in an astonishing regatta at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to take the gold medal by 43 points, the biggest winning margin across all the classes in Rio.

The New Zealand pair were assured of a medal after 11 races, assured of gold after 12 races and then won the Rio 2016 49er medal race to secure the Olympic victory in impressive style.

In the nomination period they won two 49er World Championships, as well as being unbeaten in all major regattas in the four-year build up to the Olympic Games.

Volvo Young Sailor of the Year:
George Gautrey (Muritai Yacht Club and Takapuna Boating Club)

The laser radial sailor secured a silver medal at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in Langkawi in January, along with winning the 2016 NZ Laser Radial Open and Youth Nationals. In the build up to this achievement George has excelled at many regional and national regattas and has also just been selected for the second time in the Yachting NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team to compete at the Worlds in December.

Aon Emerging Talent Award:
Eli Liefting and Rose Dickson – Royal Akarana Yacht Club

Young sailors Eli Liefting and Rose Dickson won the Sir Peter Blake Regatta in 2015 in the RS Feva Class, and earlier this year they won the New Zealand RS Feva Nationals and went on to place a credible fourth in the RS Feva Worlds in Santander, Spain in July.

Nespresso Coach the Year:
David Slyfield – High Performance Sport New Zealand

This year Performance Planning team member from High Performance Sport New Zealand David Slyfield assisted with two Olympic medal winning campaigns in sailing. He worked with both Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, and Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie to achieve gold and silver glory, along with Josh Junior in the Finn Class who finished his campaign in seventh. David has previously assisted a host of athletes in their campaigns to Olympic success across multiple sports, as well as being part of three Americas Cup campaigns with Team New Zealand between 2000 and 2015.

Zhik Official of the Year:
John Parrish

Zhik Official of the year for 2016 John Parrish has officiated, instructed, advised, and delivered seminars at conferences and events in New Zealand and across the world. In 2016 alone he has written the material and delivered a World Sailing Race Management Clinic in Shanghai, instructed at World Sailing IRO seminars in Sydney and Rio de Janeiro, was selected as an International Course Representative for the Sailing World Cup in Weymouth, as well as being the Deputy PRO and an International Course Representative during the Olympic Games. John also attended the World Sailing Conference in Barcelona as a member of the World Sailing Race Management Committee, and will round off this years’ international activities as the Chairman of the Sailing Committee and an International Course Representative for the Youth Worlds to be held in New Zealand next month.

Yachting New Zealand President’s Award supported by Fuji Xerox:
Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club

Outstanding achievements from this club over the past year has seen Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club receive the President’s Award this year. The club has fostered the talent of four New Zealand sailing Olympians this year and continues to produce hard working, results-driven sailors. Medalists and siblings Sam and Molly Meech both hail from the region, along with acclaimed sailor Peter Burling and Jason Saunders.

Yachting New Zealand Service Awards for 2016

Recognising contribution and service at club, regional and/or national level.

Spring Chickens Volunteer Group – for services to Lowry Bay Yacht Club
Keith Hay – for services to Mt Pleasant Yacht Club
Mike Underwood – for services to Waikawa Boating Club
Viki Moore – for services to Naval Point Club Lyttleton
Ann Hatch – for services to New Plymouth Yacht Club
Graham Thow & Des Rouse – for services to Northcote Birkenhead Yacht Club
Jim & Margaret Park – for services to Christchurch Yacht Club
Bob Davies – for services to Wanganui Yacht Club
Leslie Rogerson – for services to Wakatipu Yacht Club & Southland Yachting Association
Mark Mulcare – for services to yacht race handicapping
Sally Garrett – for services to Royal Akarana Yacht Club

Yachting New Zealand Cruising Awards for 2016


Simon Willis

Yachting New Zealand Performance Awards for 2016


Peter Burling and Blair Tuke – 49er, Gold Olympics 2016
Alex Maloney and Molly Meech – 49erFX, Silver Olympics 2016
Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders – Nacra 17, fourth Olympics 2016
Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie- Women’s 470, Silver Olympics 2016
Paul Snow-Hansen & Daniel Willcox – Men’s 470, 10th Olympics 2016
Sam Meech – Laser, Bronze Olympics 2016
Josh Junior – Finn, seventh Olympics 2016
Sarah Dunckley – Hansa Liberty class, first World Championships 2016
Phillip Robertson, William Tiller & Stewart Dodson – first World Match Racing Tour 2016
Rick Dodson, Chris Sharp & Andrew May – Sonar class, fourth Paralympics 2016
David McDiarmid, Matthew Steven, Bradley Collins – 18ft skiff, second JJ Giltinan Champs

Yachting New Zealand Youth Performance Awards for 2016


Robbie McCutcheon (Wakatere Boating Club) – P Class 2016 Tauranga & Tanner Cup winner
George Gautrey (Muritai Yacht Club) – Laser Radial, second ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships 2015
Josh Berry & Henry Haslett (Murrays Bay Sailing Club) – 420 class, first NZ Nationals, second Australian Nationals, 16th Open Worlds 2016
Jackson Keon and Nick Egnot-Johnson (Murrays Bay Sailing Club) – 29er class, second ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships 2015
Tamryn Lindsay and William McKenzie (Murrays Bay Sailing Club) – SL16 class, third ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships 2015
Kerensa Jennings & Chelsea Rees (Murrays Bay Sailing Club) – 420 girls ninth ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships 2015
Eli Leifting & Rose Dickson (Royal Akarana Yacht Club) – RS Fever, fourth RS Fever Worlds 2016
Kate & Greta Stewart (Murrays Bay Sailing Club) – 29er girls, third ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships 2016
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