The distinct lack of fanfare accorded Team New Zealand by national media outlets after winning in Gothenburg last month was not lost on helmsman Peter Burling.

The Tauranga sailor has guided his new-look team to the top of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series table after two rounds, with one qualifying leg left this year, to be held in Bermuda next month at the venue for the America's Cup in June 2017.

"A few of the yachting fans were saying it is ironic how whenever there is scandal and stuff in Team New Zealand, or something is happening that is kind of a bad story, it is headlines everywhere. Yet when we won Gothenburg we couldn't even get much [coverage]," Burling said.

Peter Burling enjoyed a brief visit back home in Tauranga last week. Photo / Peter White
Peter Burling enjoyed a brief visit back home in Tauranga last week. Photo / Peter White

"You take the good with the bad I suppose. For sure, I'd like to turn that around and we are always trying to keep the public on side. Hopefully most of what went on [last America's Cup] is in the past now and we will just let the results speak for themselves. We think there is a massive fan base out there that is keen to see some good racing that hopefully we can provide at some stage."


Burling, 24, and his sailing team of Blair Tuke, Ray Davies and Glenn Ashby will again have very little time to acclimatise and prepare tactically before Bermuda.

"The new format doesn't really suit us because as a group we don't have another foiling 45 to sail, whereas a lot of the other teams like Oracle, Artemis and [Land Rover BAR] do," Burling said. "Oracle and Artemis are a lot more hi-tech, more along the Cup lines. But for ourselves, we will literally get just one or two days training at the venue before the next event and then we will be back into it.

"It is a strange format the way it is set up at the moment and it is very different from our Olympic stuff, where you have a week of racing and a couple of weeks of practice beforehand, so everything is super slick."

Burling is unfazed by any new sailing challenges and "just gets on with it". But beating rivals of the standing of Dean Barker, James Spithill and Ben Ainslie so far this year has been hugely satisfying: "I definitely enjoy the challenge of out-learning the other guys and picking up the skill set required in the boat quicker than them."