The mother of Team New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling was happy to see the emphatic way the team won the Louis Vuitton America's Cup challenger final today.

Heather Burling said she managed to pat her son on the back and say "good on you mate" as Burling was making his way to the winner's rostrum.

Talking to the Bay of Plenty Times soon after the race, Heather Burling said she was happy the crew of Emirates Team New Zealand won the first race today to give them an unbeatable 5-2 wins over Artemis in the challenger series.

"We couldn't be happier, but there is still a long way to go for the big prize."

Advertisement

Burling said today's win meant the guys could have a couple of days off before the first two races for the America's Cup were sailed against Team USA on Sunday (New Zealand time).

She said winning the challenger series was a team effort, and Team New Zealand put in an amazing effort over the past five days to get the boat as competitive and pristine as they could after last week's crash.

"We are very proud. We were really happy to finish in such an emphatic way."

Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club commodore Nick Wrinch said he was delighted to see Burling sail a great race. The superior boat speed over Artemis was encouraging.

"We will have to wait to find out whether it is enough speed to beat Oracle."

He said the America's Cup was a whole new ballgame. "If there is one thing we know about Peter, it is that he's a fast learner."

Wrinch said Oracle helmsman Jimmy Spithill might have had the jump on Burling in early races, but he was on a steep learning curve.

He said there was always the feeling, even when Peter Burling was a kid, that he would go far in the sport of sailing. "He was always an extraordinary talent."

Advertisement

His Olympic gold and silver medals were a phenomenal achievement. "We are a hell of a proud of him. It is fantastic for the club that we have someone like Peter who we can call our own."

Wrinch said Peter Burling supported junior sailing at the club when he was at home.

Live coverage of races one and two of the America's Cup starts at 5am on Sky Sport on Sunday, with delayed coverage on Prime from 6.30am.