Olympic gold medalists and defending America’s Cup champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have announced their team to compete in SailGP Season 2.
The New Zealand SailGP Team co-CEOs named the squad which features Olympic, round-the- world and America’s Cup sailors from up and down the country.
In addition to Burling, 30, of Tauranga and Tuke, 31, of Kerikeri, the team includes Andy Maloney, 30, of Kerikeri; Josh Junior, 31, of Wellington; Marcus Hansen, 28, of Whangarei; and Louis Sinclair, 29, of Wairoa.
The New Zealand SailGP Team bring to SailGP an impressive range of skill and experience. Between them they come with extensive experience in foiling high tech boats; as well as world class high performance sailing campaigns across 49er, Nacra, and Finn Olympic classes and round the world editions.
Burling said: “For now the majority of the team is head down focused on the defence of the America’s Cup with Emirates Team New Zealand in March but it’s a great milestone to announce such a strong line up of sailors to join us in our first SailGP season.”
The team also includes the successful candidates from the New Zealand SailGP Team female development programme – Liv Mackay, 24, of Napier; and Erica Dawson, 27, of Auckland. The programme launched last year aims to fast-track the inclusion of female athletes in the league. The initial phase of the programme sees Mackay and Dawson immersed in the team for the opening event of the season in Bermuda in April. Following the pre-season training and development in Bermuda at least one of the athletes will be selected to join the team for the rest of SailGP Season 2.
Tuke said: “While this is a small step in working towards gender equality in sailing, we are committed to creating more opportunities for women in professional sailing.”
Like Burling and Tuke, many of the New Zealand SailGP Team members will combine Olympic campaigns with the SailGP league.
“We believe a constant high performance environment gives our team members incredible development opportunities and keeps them at the top of their game,” continued Tuke.
The New Zealand SailGP Team will race with purpose, supporting its Race for the Future charity partner Live Ocean, the marine conservation organisation founded by Burling and Tuke. At the heart of the team is the mission of racing for a healthy ocean and the global platform of SailGP will be a powerful way to take the message of ocean restoration and protection to the world.
“All the New Zealand SailGP Team members are passionate about the ocean and we’re excited to step up as champions for a healthy ocean on the world stage. The race for a live ocean is on,” concluded Burling.
SailGP Season 2 was postponed due to COVID-19 and is rescheduled to start in Bermuda (April 24-25), Taranto (ITA, June 5-6), Plymouth (GBR, July 17-18), Aarhus (DEN, August 20-21), Saint-Tropez (FRA, September 11-12) and Cádiz (ESP, October 9-10). SailGP will also make its first visit to Christchurch for New Zealand’s maiden grand prix on January 29-30, 2022. The season will culminate with the Grand Final in San Francisco on March 26-27, 2022, when the champion will be determined in a single $1 million winner-takes-all final.