Peter Burling and Blair Tuke created a bit of New Zealand sports history when they won the silver medal in the 49er sailing at the 2012 London Olympic Games. The yachtsmen’s medal was the 100th won by New Zealanders at the Olympics, since the Harry Kerr won a walking bronze medal in 1908. Skipper Burling and Tuke sailed a very consistent series and had the silver wrapped up before the final race. Their placings over the fortnight of racing in Weymouth were 9-7-1-7-2-3-5-9-11-7-2-1-2-15-6-6-4. Once their worst performance was discarded, they finished with 76 points. They were well behind Australian gold medallists Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, but no other team in the 20-strong field got near them. Burling was clearly a talented sailor even before he was a teenager, but in truth he was attracting attention much earlier still. He was born in Tauranga on January 1, 1991, so knew how to make an entrance. He started sailing in Welcome Bay in Tauranga at the age of six. Within two years he was competing for the Tauranga Yacht Club. He contested his first international event at 11 - the 2002 optimist world championship in Texas. The following year he won the New Zealand optimist title and competed in the optimist world championship in the Canary Islands. Burling was only 15 when in 2006 he combined with Carl Evans to win the 420 (a two-person dinghy) world title in the Canary Islands. The pair successfully defended their world title in New Zealand the following year. Burling and Evans finished 11th in the 470 class at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. At just 17, Burling was the youngest sailing competitor at those Olympics and the youngest member of the New Zealand Olympic team that year. After the 2008 Olympics, Burling got even busier. In 2009 he was third in the ISAF teams racing world championships in Perth, Australia. He combined with Blair Tuke to win the North American 49er title in 2010. The pair finished third in the Olympic test event the following year and second in the world 49er championship in Croatia in 2012. Though they weren’t favourites, they were certain a team worth watching going into the 2012 Olympics. And so it proved. Burling and Tuke continued to combine well after the Olympics, winning the world and European championships in the 49er class in 2013. Burling also found time to dip his toe in the waters of the America’s Cup. Immediately after the 2012 Olympics, he skippered Team Korea’s White Tiger Challenge in the 2012 world series. At 21 he was the youngest skipper in the America’s Cup fleet. In 2013 Burling skippered the New Zealand team to victory in the inaugural Red Bull Youth America's Cup in San Francisco. He capped off a busy 2013 by having his first taste of offshore racing in the 2013 Sydney to Hobart race, as a crewmember on board Pretty Fly III, which finished ninth on handicap. Burling was Yachting New Zealand Young Sailor of the Year in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011. In 2013 he and Tuke were jointly named Yachting New Zealand Sailors of the Year 2013.

News and Blogs

Home from the Olympics

21 August 2012

2012 is about business

10 February 2012

Wow... what an amazing week!

23 December 2011

Looking forward to Perth

29 November 2011

Sail Melbourne

07 November 2011

Back into training

05 October 2011

It was a real buzz

23 August 2011

Hi from Weymouth, UK

01 August 2011

We can’t wait

19 July 2011