Peter Burling is proud of Team New Zealand's first-up effort at the America's Cup World Series opener held in Portsmouth last month.

The Tauranga sailor spoke exclusively to the Bay of Plenty Times from Frankfurt, Germany, before flying to Rio to compete at the Aquece Rio - International Sailing Regatta 2015 from August 15-22.

"We were pretty happy to walk away with a second overall," Burling said. "We actually sailed quite well and were leading both the races at the bottom mark after the first time. It was bitter sweet we didn't get to sail on the final day as myself and the rest of the crew were kicking ourselves for letting the first race slide back to a third. We were stoked to back it up with a first in the second race.

"We all know how easily it could have been a special week, as you don't get those chances too often to come away with the win. On the flipside, a second is still a pretty good result and a solid way to start off the new America's Cup campaign."


Burling, 24, says it was great to finally get out on the water after the disrupted build-up.

"The team has been through some tough times and some big personnel changes, but everyone is happy to put that in the past now and to be out sailing a cup boat in the challenge for the 35th America's Cup.

"Personally, I am happy with how things are going out on the water with the communication lines and everything. We are all very aware we are a very new team, and we have a lot of work to do to smooth out the rough edges and try to get the maximum performance out of the group.

"That was our first event we have raced at together, so we need to take as many learnings as we can from each event, as we don't get too many to test ourselves with before the cup.

"If you look at me and Blair [Tuke] in the 49er, we are getting better every time."

Burling and Tuke are back in their favoured 49er boat and join the other six New Zealand crews in Rio.

"We are going to be trying a few things and are really excited to be back sailing the Olympic boat in the Olympic waters," Burling said.

"But you wouldn't say the conditions are great. It doesn't really affect the racing but there is definitely a lot of sewage. When you get splashed the taste you get on your lips isn't particularly pleasant, but we have been pretty fortunate so far sailing in Rio three times and haven't got sick."


Other Tauranga sailors competing in Rio are Jason Saunders (Nacra 17), Andy Maloney (Laser) and Molly Meech (49erFX).