Kiwi 49er medallists eye America's Cup

FRED WOODCOCK IN WEYMOUTH
Last updated 05:00 10/08/2012
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke
Getty Images
PROUD DAY: Peter Burling and Blair Tuke pose with their silver medals.

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New Zealand 49er class sailing silver medallists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke will take time out before they contemplate a campaign to go one better in Rio.

Burling, 21, and Tuke, 23, are being tipped for big things in the sailing world after an exceptional Olympic campaign in the exciting skiff class.

But, unlike the gold medallists and their close training partners, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, of Australia, who have committed to a title defence in Rio, Burling and Tuke say they have not thought about life beyond London.

Having showcased their talents, they both admit they're attracted by the America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race.

Asked where they might be in four years, Tuke said: “Possibly Rio, maybe the middle of the Southern Ocean, maybe at America's Cup. We don't know.

"Pete and I both really enjoy the America's Cup and Volvo but we know we are both still young and have years ahead. We will take it easy and not rush into anything."

"We are just going to enjoy today. Rio is four years away."

Burling said they would take some time out, debrief when they get home and re-assess.

It is possible to do both big boats and run an Olympic campaign - Spanish 49er sailor Iker Martinez was skipper of Volvo Ocean Race yacht Telefonica while Outteridge is skipper of Team Korea in the America's Cup but plans to be at Rio with Jensen.

Tuke said racing in big boats would be a "huge step" for them but "we might now be on a few people's radars, which should be good".

"Sailing isn't a huge sport. If you are in the know, you can get in," he said.

"We are going to have to do a heck of a lot of learning to step up to that level but we have shown with this campaign we can learn fast and take our skill.

"I think we could do that on big boats."

Sailing insiders rate the pair. Burling, in particular, is seen as having all the attributes required to succeed at the top.

At 21, he's surely got a few more Olympic campaigns in him. And a few more medals.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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