They have won an Olympic Silver Medal in the 49er class, are the current world champions, are team mates with Emirates Team New Zealand for the Extreme Sailing Series and show outstanding skills in almost all the class of boats they step into, but for ANZ Sail Fiji, Kiwi glamour lads of sailing are going head to head.
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are known for their flying skills when racing their 49er skiff and will be using their extensive knowledge to get one up on each other. Burling is racing on the Bakewell-White 52 Wired and Tuke will be calling the shots on the TP52 V5.
At the recent A-Class World Championship held at Takapuna, it was 49er crew Tuke who took the cake and beat his skipper Burling.
Since then the lads have been back on the 49er together and recently won the ISAF Sailing World Cup and World Championship.
“We’re having a bit of break from the 49er to do ANZ Sail Fiji and it’s great to get back into ocean racing again,” said Tuke, who race in the 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
Peter Burling, with less ocean miles under his belt than team mate Tuke, was keeping calm on the morning of the race.
“I’m looking forward to just doing another ocean race really, it’s a great part of our sport and I haven’t done too many of them yet,” said Burling on the dock at the Viaduct Marina before departing for the starting area.
Andrew Brookland, General Manager of Royal Akarana Yacht Club, where Tuke and Burling are members and train in the 49er when back home in Auckland, told Burling that he had $10 bet on Tuke and V5 beating him over the line.
“You mustn’t been that confident then Andrew!” laughed Burling when he responded to the friendly betting banter.
At the first radio schedule reporting time, V5 told Maritime Radio NZ that they were keeping watchful eye on Wired.
“We are having a bit of a match race with Wired at the moment. Don’t want them slipping through,” said the crew of V5.
During the race, these two have rarely let each other out of their sight.
The evenly matched boats will have their work cut out for them to beat the other one to the finish line at Navula Passage, but it’s V5 that could have the upper hand with more ocean racing experience than Wired. V5 was the line honours and first monohull to cross the line for the RAYC Sail Noumea Race in 2012 and for the RNZYS Auckland to Musket Cove (Fiji) race in 2013.
Who will win out of V5 and Wired?