Our Volkswagen ambassadors are crowned as the ISAF Sailors of the Year!
New Zealand’s Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have been awarded the most prestigious award in sailing, The ISAF Rolex Sailor of the Year award.
The ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year is the highest award any sailor can receive in recognition of their outstanding achievements by the world of sailing.
“We are really proud to receive this award,” said an elated Blair Tuke.
“Some great sailors and legendary kiwis have won in the past so to be in that sort of company is pretty humbling.”
The only other New Zealanders to win the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year are Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie in 2013 (New Zealand’s first ever winners in the Female category), Russell Coutts in 1995 and 2003, Mike Sanderson in 2006 and Sir Peter Blake in 1994.
“To now be part of that group is pretty special. For Blair and myself it’s not all about the accolades but this is a pretty special one to win. We are just lucky that we get to compete at the highest level in a sport that we really love.” said Burling.
“It’s important to remember in being recognized that there is a huge amount of other people and supporters that enable us to do what we do on the water. We are part of two awesome teams in Emirates Team New Zealand and the NZL Sailing team and a hugely grateful to all the people that help us along the way.”
2105 is the second successive year the kiwi duo have been nominated for the award, as recognition of their 21 straight regatta wins since 2012 in the Olympic 49er class, including victories at the 2015 Aquece Rio, Olympic Test event, ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres and Weymouth and Portland as well as Trofeo Princesa Sofia and only days ago winning the 49er South American Championship.
Alongside their Olympic campaign the pair have been a vital part of a new look Emirates Team New Zealand in the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series. A second at the first leg in Portsmouth, turned into victory a few weeks later in Gothenburg, followed by a very close second in Bermuda to give the team a dominant lead the and overall advantage in the 2015 series, which carries through to the 2017 America’s Cup.
“It has been a great year for us in the 49er, the moth and America’s Cup but we have some pretty big goals over the next few years with the Olympics and the America’s Cup on the horizon so there is no shortage of motivation to keep pushing on to try and improve our yachting.” Said Burling
Their record, not just for 2015 but also in the previous three years, speaks for itself illustrating the level of talent this new generation of sailors is bringing to the sport across multiple disciplines.
There is no doubting their talent and the prospect of what lies ahead for the pair in 2016 in Rio, 2017 in Bermuda and beyond and the ISAF Rolex Sailor of the Year awards cements their place a the best in the sailing world right now.
Burling and Tuke were not present to accept the award in Sanya, China as they are in Argentina preparing for next weeks 49er World Championships.