The pair are the reigning 49er world champions and they recently enjoyed victory at the Rio Olympic test event.
They are one of five nominations for the award.
Buurling and Tuke were named as finalists last year for the award but were pipped by Australian Jimmy Spithill for his America's Cup achievements.
New Zealanders have won sailing's top award on several other ocassions.
Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie won the female category in 2013.
Sir Russell Coutts who won the Male Sailor of the Year, in 1995 and 2003, while Mike Sanderson won in 2006 and Sir Peter Blake in 1994.
The winner will be announced on November 10th in China.