Parade for gold medal yachties

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Peter Burling and Blair Tuke after winning their race during the 49er class sailing race. Photo:
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke after winning their race during the 49er class sailing race. Photo:

Olympic gold medal-winners Blair Tuke and Peter Burling will be honoured with a parade through Kerikeri's main street on Friday.

The parade for the golden yachtie duo is due to start at 1pm from the northern end of the town near the Waipapa by-pass then journey along Kerikeri Road, turning left into Cobham Rd and finishing in the town's Domain.

Organiser, Dave Keen, said he expects a large turn-out and school children will be issued with small gold flags on the day.

"Four years ago when Blair and Peter came back from London after winning silver, you couldn't move in the domain with people wanting to see them and their medals. I expect it to be an even bigger event this time now that they have won gold," he said.

Blair Tuke was part of the Kerikeri Cruising Club's youth development programme from the age of nine. He attended Riverview Primary School and continued sailing at Kerikeri High School as a member of their remarkably successful sailing academy.

Peter Burling's parents, Bruce and Judith Burling, are long-time residents of the town so it's only fitting that Keriekri hosts a parade for the 49 Class winners.

The ANZ Bank on the corner of Kerikeri Road and Fairway Drive has painted its ATM machine gold with Blair Tuke's name and achievements inscribed on the surround.

Peter Burling (and Hamish Bond) will both have their names inscribed on an ATM machine in Tauranga as part of a sponsorship arrangement the bank has with the New Zealand Olympic Committee.

The vehicles carrying the pair will be Volkswagens, also part of a sponsorship arrangement.

Mr Keen said in the event of rain there would be an official town welcome to the pair in the Turner Centre in Cobham Road but this venue had yet to be confirmed.

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