Yachting: Burling keeps getting better

Peter Burling's Olympic silver medal has provided him with the chance to helm Team Korea's AC45 for the upcoming round of the America's Cup world series. Photo / Getty Images.
Peter Burling's Olympic silver medal has provided him with the chance to helm Team Korea's AC45 for the upcoming round of the America's Cup world series. Photo / Getty Images.

Peter Burling's Olympic silver medal has provided him with the chance to helm Team Korea's AC45 for the upcoming round of the America's Cup world series in San Francisco on October 2.

In 2008, aged 17, Burling became the youngest sailor to represent New Zealand at the Olympic Games. Now 21 the Tauranga prodigy is set to become the youngest skipper competing in the Americas Cup World Series.

"Yachting New Zealand is delighted that Peter has this opening into the America's Cup domain; it's a terrific opportunity for him and well deserved given the commitment and dedication he has always given to sailing," said Yachting New Zealand chief executive David Abercrombie.

Olympic programme manager Jez Fanstone said Burling's achievement was an inspiration for any junior sailor to give Olympic class sailing a go.

"It shows young sailors just where Olympic sailing can lead you, and proves youth and Olympic classes are a great training ground for those aspiring to the professional sailing ranks," Fanstone said.

"For Peter, this is a great chance to try something else and it's a great reward following on from his silver medal. He's been Olympic campaigning for six years now, and during that time he's gained the skills and attracted the attention to put him in this exciting position."

Moving into the 49er skiff, and pairing with Blair Tuke, he captured attention on the Olympic class circuit with back-to-back silver 49er world championship medals in 2011 and 2012 and multiple podium finishes at ISAF Sailing World Cup Regattas.

He and Tuke went on to collect the 49er Olympic silver medal in August in London.

Burling will helm the Team Korea AC45 with four crew on board including Troy Tindall, Matt Cornwall, Giles Scott and Andy McLean, who is standing in for Mark Bulkeley.

The America's Cup world series is a professional circuit that brings America's Cup-level racing and the America's Cup experience to top international venues.

The 2012-13 AC world series stops in San Francisco, Venice and Naples, concluding in May 2013 - prior to the beginning of the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco in July next year.

- APNZ

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