The principal of Tauranga Boys' College will be among many in the school community getting up extra early tomorrow to watch three former students compete in separate races at the Rio Olympics.

Sam Meech is expected to race for silver or bronze in sailing at 4.30am (NZT). Fellow sailor Peter Burling, with team mate Blair Tuke, is expected to compete in a preliminary race at 6.05am and sailor Jason Saunders will race for a medal in the mixed Nacra (multihull) at 6.20am. Fellow Bay athlete Lisa Carrington, who attended Whakatane High School, will race for gold at 12.47am.

Meech's laser medal race was originally scheduled for today but was postponed due to a lack of breeze.

Boys' college principal Robert Mangan said the former students' efforts in Rio were helping lift and inspire current students at the school.


''We are very proud of the performance of our old boys, firstly in representing the country and in their performance on the international stage as well.''

Mr Mangan said the school was acknowledging each athlete's achievements in assemblies and the school community was supporting the former students all the way.

''We are all about raising good men,'' he said.

''It's about having confidence that you are well equipped to step out into the world with self belief. It's about raising those same qualities [...] Those are the same skills [you can apply] in the classroom, sportsfield and cultural arena.''

Meech, Saunders and Burling all attended Tauranga Boys' College at the same time.

Burling, with Tuke, was selected as the New Zealand flag bearer at the Olympics' opening ceremony.

''It's about setting goals and going for them,'' Mr Mangan said.

Burling is also the 2015 World Champion in the International Moth. He is the helmsman for Emirates Team New Zealand's 2017 America's Cup campaign.