BURLING AND TUKE ON TOP OF THE WORLD AGAIN
After 5 days of racing in their home waters in Auckland Peter Burling and Blair Tuke won their fifth 49er World Championship.
A difficult week for the fleets racing at the 49er Worlds due to mixed sailing conditions and a tense last day for Peter Burling and Blair Tuke that started with a gear failure causing them to pull out of the opening race, followed by a third place in the next race.
At the start of the medal race Burling and Tuke were eight points clear, needing to finish within four places of the second placed German team also intent on winning the championship. The drama peaked when Peter Burling slipped off the back of the boat and into the water when tacking on the first upwind leg of the medal race, plunging the New Zealand pair to the back of the fleet.
The Kiwi – duo though fought their way back to finish fourth in the Medal Race and to win the gold medal by six points overall.
"It's definitely the top, no doubt," Tuke said when reflecting on a fifth world title. "We said going into it that racing a world champs on your home waters would be right up there with the Olympics. It feels pretty good.
"It always feels good when you do it in that fashion, when it comes down to the wire as well. We would have liked to have won by more but you take it any way you can. We're really proud that we came back in the end there."
"It was a bit annoying," an understated Burling said of his swim in the medal race. "It was the same thing we did in the first race when we snapped the tiller extension. It was really choppy out there and hard to get the timing quite right.”
Tuke added: "It certainly wasn't part of the plan. We would have ideally sailed a bit better in the morning and wrapped it up but, whichever way we get it, we're pretty happy and we knew that if it came down to this we would be able to step up. To do it in front of our friends, family and supporters is very, very special
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have an intense schedule ahead as they will combine their Olympic campaign with their America’s Cup commitments.
With little time to reflect on today’s win, tomorrow they’ll be back at work with Emirates Team New Zealand sailing the teams AC75 back on the very same waters of their latest world beating accomplishment.