Olympic champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke remain the toast of New Zealand sailing after taking out the sport's top award for the fourth straight year.

The 49er pair were last night claimed the 2016 Sailor of the Year gong at the Volvo Yachting Excellence Awards, proving they are truly in a league of their own following a dominant Olympic campaign.

The four-time world champions made history last year when they won the Sir Bernard Fergusson Trophy for the third time - a feat no other individual or crew had ever achieved since it was first awarded in 1963. This year, the pair push that record just a little further out of reach, with their names to be engraved on the historic trophy for 2013, 2014, 2015, and now 2016.

Burling and Tuke have delivered a dominant Olympic campaign, culminating in an astonishing regatta in Rio to take the gold medal by 43 points, the biggest winning margin across all the classes in at the Games.


The New Zealand pair were assured of a medal after 11 races, assured of gold after 12 races and then won the medal race to secure the Olympic victory in impressive style. In the nomination period they won two 49er world championships, as well as being unbeaten in all major regattas in the four-year build up to the Olympic Games.

The Emerging Talent award, recognizing outstanding achievement for sailors under the age of 21, went to Eli Liefting and Rose Dickson from the Royal Akarana Yacht Club following their season's results in the FS Feva Class including winning a national title earlier this year.

The 2016 Volvo Young Sailor of the Year was awarded to Laser Radial sailor George Gautrey from Wellington in recognition of his outstanding results in the class this year.

Other award recipients named Coach Of the Year David Slyfield from High Performance Sport New Zealand, and the Yachting New Zealand President's Award, which was awarded to the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club.

Full award winners
Sailor of the Year: Peter Burling and Blair Tuke
Young Sailor of the Year: George Gautrey (Muritai Yacht Club and Takapuna Boating Club)
Emerging Talent Award: Eli Liefting and Rose Dickson (Royal Akarana Yacht Club)
Coach the Year: David Slyfield (High Performance Sport New Zealand)
Official of the Year: John Parrish
Yachting New Zealand President's Award: Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club