Olympic gold medallists Blair Tuke and Peter Burling outline their hopes for the Team New Zealand America's Cup campaign ...

On starting to sail together;

Tuke: "I knew this kid from Tauranga who was going pretty well and he'd beaten me once or twice. He came back from the Olympics and sent me an email, saying 'shall we give London a crack', straight away I said yes."

Burling: "Both of us shared a common goal at the beginning. We were the right size and were keen to take on a campaign. We didn't know each other ... but it's seemed to work out pretty well."


Tuke: "I know Pete is going to be working as hard as anyone or harder at doing the job and trying to get better, and then you are doing the same yourself, because you are not going to let him down."

On sailing as a sport;

Burling: "I don't think there's many sports with more variables that yachting, from the boat, the weather, the wind. Everything has to come together and you have got to keep improving your skills all the time, or you get left behind."

On working as a team:

Tuke: "It's a massive one for Pete and I to trust what each other is thinking on the water and off the water. It's a value we've had in our campaign from day one, you trust the guy next to you and that's what we build everything on."

Burling: "We enjoy what we do, we love our sport, love being based in New Zealand and make sure we have fun on the way. It makes it easier to put in the hard yards and dig deep, when you need to go get something done."

Tuke: "I don't know where I would be if Pete wasn't sitting next to me and Pete would say the same."

On winning gold at Rio:

Burling: "That's one of the things I'm super proud of about Rio, we did genuinely sail one of our best events, when the pressure was on. The gold medal was only a part of it, to know you put four years on the line for a goal and managed to achieve it with your best ever performance is very pleasing.

"All events where we are winning, it is always about learning and improving, and trying to get better, rather than sitting on our laurels."

On being part of Team New Zealand;

Tuke: "Every Kiwi has a memory of the America's Cup and its no different for us, and to now be part of it and part of Team NZ is an amazing honour."

Burling: "It's one of the unique sporting events in that, if you win it, you get to host it. We are pretty fired up to bring it back to NZ, where it belongs, and we think we have got a good shot at it.

"I'm really excited about the challenge of the new boats. These boats are so different to anything we've seen before, so much quicker, so much more manoeuvrable. Us coming from a high performance background, where we have to make decisions very quickly, is a massive benefit to this team."

Tuke: "Everyone in the whole team believes we can win it. if they didn't, we wouldn't be there. There's a big belief in team that we can do it and I think the country deserves to have it back."