Lately in the Star Sailors League Global Ranking we witnessed the entry of a real super star of sailing in the top 10, even though he’s never sailed an SSL event nor a Star boat. The points won at the Olympic Games in Rio 2016 and of the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda got extended to last four years, so the 49er Gold Medalist and AC winner Peter Burling (NZL) is in a very well deserved 10th position in the SSL Ranking.
The kiwi sailor is very young, he was born in Tauranga on January 1st 1991, and started sailing at the age of six in the Welcome Bay estuary near his home, in an old wooden optimist called Jellytip. At the age of eight, he joined Tauranga Yacht Club and started competing. At fifteen, Burling (with Carl Evans) won the 2006 420 Class Worlds in the Canary Islands – the youngest sailors ever to do so. They also won the under-16 and under-18 world championships and successfully defended the title to win the 420 Class Worlds sailed in Auckland. Burling then moved to the 470 and got to represent New Zealand at the Bejing Olympics at 17 years old, being the youngest sailor ever to be part of the Kiwi Olympic team. It was in the 49er though, with crew Blair Tuke, that he found his real speed. They are the first sailors to win four consecutive 49er class World Championships (2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016). They won all 28 of the major regattas in the 49er between the London Olympics and the Rio Olympics. In all the major regattas (Olympics, Worlds, Europeans, World Cup) in 2015 and 2016 they led into the medal races by over 20 points – effectively winning the regattas before it. Burling and Tuke won Silver Medal at the London Olympics and went for Gold in Rio. A year after Brazil, they won back the America’s Cup for New Zealand in Bermuda, becoming at 26 years old, the youngest helmsman to win the Auld Mug. Volvo Ocean Race was next, and Burling finished third with Team Brunel.
At the moment he is getting ready for the Olympics in Tokyo next summer and to defend the America’s Cup in Auckland in a little more than a year, when we suspect he will be higher up in the SSL Ranking.
Focus on / Sailors / Regattas