The Mange Olsson Foundation has announced New Zealand sailor Peter Burling as the 2020 winner of its prestigious Magnus Olsson Prize.
Awarded annually to an individual who has made an indelible contribution to the world of sailing, previous recipients include Torben Grael, Sir Ben Ainslie, Stan Honey, Santiago Lange, Grant Dalton and Carolijn Brouwer.
At 29, Burling, from Tauranga, New Zealand, is by far the youngest winner of the prize. Despite his young age he has an impressive CV that includes nine World Championship titles, Olympic gold and silver medals, and victory in the 35th America’s Cup as helmsman of the Emirates Team New Zealand syndicate.
Burling also competed in the last edition of The Ocean Race, finishing third aboard Dutch entry Team Brunel.
The Mange Olsson Memorial Foundation was created to continue the essence of enthusiasm, passion, and determination that Swedish ocean racer Magnus Olsson brought to the sport of sailing.
In his spirit the Foundation aims to inspire and support young sailors in Sweden, as well as reward international sailors who develop our sport at both a human and a competitive level. The Foundation will also enable a network for young sailors to exchange experiences with the more established sailors. The Foundation is financially supported by companies and individuals who wish to ensure that the values that Mange embodied, continue to live on.
“It’s a great honour to be acknowledged by the Mange Olsson Memorial Foundation for this award,” Burling said. “Unfortunately I never had the opportunity to meet Magnus but his epic race in Ericssonc 3 in the 2008-09 edition of the Ocean Race definitely inspired my round the world path.”
As a leader, Burling continues to demonstrate his ability to skipper and manage successful world class teams in the sport of sailing. He was named Male World Sailor of the Year at the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards in 2017. Burling and his 49er crew Blair Tuke also won the award in 2015 and were finalists in both 2014 and again in 2016.
As well as their accomplishments on the water in 2019 Burling and Tuke founded the marine conservation charity Live Ocean which has a focus on restoration and protection of New Zealand’s ocean. The charity does this by accelerating and amplifying world-class marine science, innovation and public education.
2021 is shaping up to be another big year for Burling who is currently preparing to defend the America’s Cup on home waters in March with teammates Emirates Team New Zealand, quickly followed by the launch of his NZ SailGP team in April, and the Tokyo Olympics in August 2021.