Olympic gold medalists and defending America’s Cup champions, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke will serve as co-CEOs of the newly formed New Zealand SailGP Team.
The involvement of the top Kiwi pair in a New Zealand team is a major coup for SailGP CEO Russell Coutts, and follows on Ben Ainslie joining the SailGP circuit earlier in the year with his Great Britain SailGP Team presented by INEOS.
Ainslie shook the SailGP series when he sweept to an easy victory at the Sydney SailGP, their first event in the supercharged F50 catamarans.
The new team will join SailGP league’s second season and will begin racing when the championship returns in April 2021, with the first grand prix of the season set for San Francisco.
Burling said: “We are really proud to represent Aotearoa in what is shaping up to be one of our sport’s premier events. We will bring a competitive team to the championship and look forward to building a collective of partners that align with our sporting and environmental values.”
The team will partner with Live Ocean Racing, a conduit between the pair’s ocean conservation charity Live Ocean and their sailing endeavours.
Burling and Tuke have been paired on the water since 2008, and have collected two Olympic medals and six world titles together in the 49er class.
They were jointly named World Sailor of the Year in 2015, while Burling added the honour again in 2017 after helming Emirates Team New Zealand to an America’s Cup victory at just 26 years old.
The pair remain fully committed to their defense of the America’s Cup with Emirates Team New Zealand and winning another gold medal at the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games.
SailGP 2020 Season 2 events were postponed after Sydney due to COVID-19, and will restart in San Francisco and New York in April and June of 2021.
Following the U.S. leg of the championship, grand prix events will take place in each of the European team markets: the UK, Denmark, France and Spain.
The league plans to hold 7-9 events as part of Season 2, and will feature racing in the Australia/New Zealand region in the early part of 2022.