Sailing: Burling and Tuke target Rio

Olympic medalists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke. Photo / Doug Sherring
Olympic medalists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke. Photo / Doug Sherring

Olympic silver medallists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke will campaign again towards the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.

The pair has confirmed that they will continue their partnership in the 49er - the Olympic skiff class.

"We have loved sharing our medals with the New Zealand public, and the reception we got when we returned to New Zealand after the Games was incredible and we are excited to take up the challenge again," says Blair Tuke, crew on the 49er.

Burling and Tuke have taken some time to confirm their intentions, enjoying sailing in a variety of boats since their silver medal performance in August last year.

"It's not a decision we have taken lightly. We understand that we have oppurtunities in professional sailing but to try and stand on the top of the Olympic podium is a goal we have both had for a long time and we see Rio 2016 as the best chance we have in achieving that," explains Tuke.

Other sailing opportunities have already come their way and the calendar for 2013 won't be strictly 49er sailing.

Together Burling and Tuke will lead the NZL Sailing Team with Emirates Team New Zealand, as skipper and tactician respectively, set to sail an AC45 catamaran in Red Bull Youth America's Cup Regatta in San Francisco from September 1st - 4th.

The Extreme 40 Series has also beckoned with the pair winging off to Muscat, Oman in early March for Round 1 of the Extreme Sailing Series for Team Korea.

However, Tuke concedes that the 2013 49er World Championships is the main goal. By the time it rolls around at the end of September (21st -28th) in Marseille, France they plan to bring their A-game.

"The 49er World Champs is definitely the pinnacle regatta for us this year and we want to be back in top form by then. We know that we can't just do the same things we did last time and expect to be at the top of the fleet, everyone else will be upping their game, and we need to do the same. One of the reasons we have been sailing in plenty of other high performance classes since the games is to become better sailors and learn new things that we can bring to the 49er".

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