14 Jul 2017

Tuke to sail in Volvo Ocean Race

11:07 am on 14 July 2017

America's Cup winner and Olympic champion sailor Blair Tuke has confirmed he will take place in the Volvo Ocean Race later this year.

Blair Tuke

Blair Tuke Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Tuke will be a trimmer/helmsman for Spanish team MAPFRE skippered by Xabi Fernandez.

He said he has always wanted to be involved in the race which circumnavigates the world.

"Growing up watching Kiwi legends like Sir Peter Blake and Mike Sanderson have great success in round the world racing has inspired me and I'm super excited about joining MAPFRE.

"There is a lot of experience and talent on board, I am privileged to have the opportunity to broaden my sailing skills while bringing my recent Olympic and America's Cup experience to the team," Tuke said.

Tuke will have some things in common with Fernandez who has also sailed in the 49er class at he Olympics.

Fernandez said he meet Tuke in 2010 when they raced against each other in the World Championships

"In the 2015 round-the-world-race Blair joined us onboard as our guest who comes round the buoys at the start of the race before jumping off the boat.

"He told us then he wanted to take part in the around the world race," Fernandez said.

He said talks gained weight when Tuke was competing in the America's Cup.

Blair is a really exciting sailor for the team, nobody can doubt his talent, and I am absolutely convinced that he will be a really strong addition to the team as trimmer and helmsman," he added.

The race leaves from Alicante in Spain on October 22nd.

Team NZ's Blair Tuke and Peter Burling.

Blair Tuke and Peter Burling after winning the America's Cup. Photo: @americascup / ACEA 2017 / Ricardo Pinto