Peter Burling and Northlander Blair Tuke have won their fourth consecutive Olympic 49er World Championship after successfully defending their crown in Clearwater, Florida, to further extend their unprecedented string of regatta victories to 24 straight wins.
Not even a hand injury, suffered by Tuke early in the event, was enough to derail the pair who taped up and pushed on. "It's been really challenging, a big range of conditions," Tuke said of the hoops and hurdles he and Burling had to overcome to seal the deal. "We've sailed in up to 20 knots with big waves, and light tricky stuff, so it's been a real mix of conditions and we're happy with how we've been going across the board."
Awarded the ISAF World Male Sailor of the Year for 2015, Burling and Tuke are also finalists for New Zealand's prestigious Halberg Team of the Year to be announced this Thursday in Auckland.
Now with four consecutive 49er World Championship titles to their names, their latest entry into the record books might finally start to turn more heads as they draw equal to Nathan Outteridge's accomplishment of four 49er World titles (2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012).
"We were really happy to go out there with a pretty healthy lead going into the day but still a bit of work to do," Burling said, "and we're absolutely stoked to go out there and finish it off with a couple of races to spare. It's always a pretty nice way to do it."
The star duo will now steer their 49er toward Rio 2016.
"Blair and myself have got a pretty busy schedule coming into the [Rio 2016 Olympic] Games and through to August, and it's something that we've been putting a lot of thought into. A lot of planning has gone in to how the next six months are going to unfold for us."
Burling and Tuke are now the 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 World Champions in the 49er, and they also won the 2013, 2014 and 2015 49er European Championships.