13 Jul 2015

Burling and Tuke defend 49er title

8:06 am on 13 July 2015

The New Zealand sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke staved off a challenge on the final day of the 49er European Championship Regatta to defend their title and extend their impressive run of victories.

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke pick up gold at the World Cup in Weymouth. 2015

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke pick up gold in Portugal. Photo: onEdition

A protest late on the penultimate day over a mark rounding incident, meant the pair were handed a disqualification causing them to relinquish the overall lead and slip to 3rd heading into the final day's racing in Portugal.

That meant the Australian crew of Nathan Outteridge and Ian Jensen, who lodged the protest, led the standings, five points ahead of the New Zealanders.

However the final day offered plenty of opportunity for redemption and Burling and Tuke started the day with a second place to set the tone.

They then won the next race, and went on to deliver another second place finish in the third, to win the fleet racing by 24 points.

The victory marks an unbroken run of 18 regatta wins for Burling and Tuke who have been invincible since taking the Olympic silver medal at London 2012 behind arch-rivals Outteridge and Jensen.

Tuke said they didn't feel affected by the disqualification.

"If anything, maybe Nathan and Goobs [Outteridge and Jensen] would have rather been seven points behind at the beginning of the day, so they could have gone in with the same attitude as we did. We came out firing and it was nice to get the job done with three nice races."

Germany's Justus Schmidt and Max Boehme got up to take the silver medal, John Pink and Stuart Bithell (GBR) took the bronze managing to push Nathan Outteridge and Ian Jensen (AUS) out of the podium placings into 4th.

Burling and Tuke now go to Portsmouth for the America's Cup World Series with Team New Zealand.

Following that they re-join the NZL Sailing Team contingent selected to compete at the 2015 Rio Test Event in August.

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