Champion Sailor Peter Burling on Racing Off Grid
When Emirates Team New Zealand’s high-speed foiling yacht, Te Rehutai, successfully defended the America’s Cup on home waters against Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli in March, the victory was a sweet repeat for helmsman Peter Burling, Michael Verdon writes for the Robb Report.
“When we won, Auckland went crazy,” he says. An Olympic gold medallist and World Sailor of the Year, the 30-year-old had also skippered Team New Zealand’s boat in 2017. Then 26, Burling was the youngest helmsman in the 170-year history of the America’s Cup. A prodigy, with an uncanny ability to read the sea, Burling sailed his first world championship at 11 and by 16 had won five world titles. At 17, he became the youngest New Zealander to sail in the Olympics.
In a series of questions, Burling tells the Report that the last time he was completely unplugged was in 2017 and 2018.
“When we were doing the Ocean Race around the world… It was 120-odd days away from people,” he says.
Tauranga-born Burling “finds calm” foil surfing.
“It’s a slightly different sensation [to surfing], but both use the power of the waves.”
Original article by Michael Verdon, Robb Report, May 8, 2021.
Photo by Jamie Bowering.