Teammates Turn Into Rivals at the Volvo Ocean Race
“Fast friends and sailing stars, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have won Olympic gold and the America’s Cup together in the last two years, but their career paths are diverging for the moment in their first attempt at the Volvo Ocean Race,” writes Christopher Clarey in an article for The New York Times. Both sailors are “on different teams and in a race not only to finish first in this round-the-planet contest but in a race to complete what could be considered the ultimate sailing triple.”
Despite a knee infection that saw Tuke spend some time in hospital last week, he “is in the best position to become the first sailor to win Olympic gold, the America’s Cup and the Volvo,” reports the article.
“With three legs remaining, his syndicate, the Spanish team Mapfre, has a three-point lead in the standings over Dongfeng Race Team of China. Team Brunel is in third place, 11 points back of Mapfre.”
“Burling, 27, and Tuke, 28, have not had many true setbacks in their sailing careers. After winning silver at the 2012 London Olympics in the 49er, they dominated the class for years and carried the flag for New Zealand at the 2016 Rio Olympics before winning gold.”
Last year “they played leading roles in their first America’s Cup with Emirates Team New Zealand in Bermuda on a foiling catamaran” “outwitting and outperforming Oracle Team USA.”
“Burling had the higher profile, becoming the youngest helmsman in the Cup’s 167-year history to win it. But Tuke had the more diverse sailing portfolio, helping to produce hydraulic power as an onboard cyclist while trimming the foils that allowed the catamaran’s hulls to rise completely out of the water at the right speed,” writes Clarey.
“The learning curve has been relatively steep for Burling and Tuke. But though both are looking ahead to a possible defense of their Olympic title in Tokyo in 2020 and to an America’s Cup defense in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2021, they are interested in nipping their Volvo rivalry in the bud.”
Article Source: New York Times, Christopher Clarey, May 17, 2018
Image Source: Twitter – Brunel Sailing