Blair Tuke is confident that the demands of juggling the America's Cup and the Olympics in the same year are not insurmountable, if those two events are staged within months of each other in 2021.

The Olympic gold medallist and Team New Zealand crew member says it's impossible to predict what might eventuate, but assures that he and Peter Burling will be ready for any scenario.

It was confirmed on Tuesday morning (NZT) that the 2020 Olympics, set for July 24-August 9 this year, would be postponed until next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website


There's no fixed date, only a stipulation that it will happen within 12 months of the originally scheduled event, while the America's Cup is planned for March 2021 in Auckland, though everything seems fluid.

"We have to wait and see how it plays out and see what dates they put on the Olympics," Tuke told the Herald. "If the last few days have taught us anything it is that this thing is very big and is out of all of our control, and it keeps changing.

"So we are not going to put too much effort into trying to predict what is going to happen. We will just wait to see how it plays out. Then we will plan and do our best to try and win a gold medal for our country."

Blair Tuke. Photo / Photosport
Blair Tuke. Photo / Photosport

Tuke is also unconcerned about a potential scheduling logjam next year, saying it is far too early to judge, but hopes both competitions can lift national spirits.

"The thing with both of those events, it's hard to see where we are going to be," said Tuke. "But what we know about those events is that they bring people together. As sportspeople we like to do that, do our best and inspire people along the way.

"There are going to be some hard times for a lot of people and if there can be positive events at the end of this, we would love to be part of it. But as far as getting into details it is far too early. We need to concentrate on what we can control at the moment, and that's doing our bit to stay at home."

For Tuke, relief was the main emotion as he digested the news from Tokyo on Wednesday.

"It has become pretty inevitable that this was going to be the decision," said Tuke. "I guess in some ways we are happy and we know what we are dealing with now. Like so much of what is going on right now, it is the uncertainty that is the hard part. It's a good thing to know, and especially us in New Zealand, going into the lockdown period."


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In Rio in 2016 Tuke and Burling completed one of the most impressive displays in Olympic history, winning by the biggest margin recorded in any sailing class since 1968.

They have remained ahead of the field, with world championship gold in each of the last two years, but will the extra time lag give opponents a chance to make inroads?

"Potentially, but it also gives us another year to get better as well," said Tuke. "But we have to wait and see how we get through these next few weeks and see how everything evolves. [We are] putting sailing on the back burner, concentrating on being healthy and doing our part to try to slow the curve down on this thing."

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Tuke will spend the next few weeks in his hometown of KeriKeri, on his lifestyle block.

"We have work we can do off line with Team New Zealand in the design phase, that will continue," said Tuke. "The main thing is to make sure we are in good shape coming out of it so we can think clearly and look to make some good decisions."

He'll be spending time on his section, planting trees and generally tidying up, and predicts plenty of card games and Monopoly duels with family.

"I don't think there will be any sailing involved," said Tuke. "Just some things around the property, got to do some physical exercise, which is great for your mental health."