Team NZ boss Grant Dalton revels in Peter Burling v Blair Tuke round the world duel
Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton believes young sailing stars Peter Burling and Blair Tuke will benefit enormously from their round the world adventure and has voiced hope his syndicate can contest the 2019 edition of the famous race.
Tuke has signed with Spanish team Mapfre to do the whole Volvo Ocean Race which starts in October and America's Cup winning helmsman Burling will do parts of the race with Dutch outfit Team Brunel, who also have Emirates Team New Zealand cyclor Carlo Huisman on board.
"I don't see any negatives out of this at all, only positives," Dalton, who made his name in the event contesting it sevens times and tasting success, said.
Dalton revealed Tuke and Burling made separate round the world approaches to him and Team New Zealand chief operating office Kevin Shoebridge during the America's Cup campaign that ended with glory in Bermuda.
"We were 100 per cent behind them. We are totally supportive of the guys doing it, absolutely. We'd like to be doing it ourselves. It's still my DNA, it's dear to my heart ... I'm jealous," Dalton told Stuff from Europe where he is fundraising for his team's defence of the America's Cup.
The contracts will help keep the superstars employed for the next year and give the country a real interest in the event which a New Zealand boat hasn't entered since Team New Zealand's Camper finished second in the 2011-12 edition.
Dalton believes his trio of Cup winners will be better sailors and better people for the experience.
"It's part of the rounding of their careers. You do learn a different aspect of the sport, doing it," Dalton said.
"It keeps your enthusiasm and love of the sport very much to the forefront. They will come back with great stories, experiences and return with a more rounded feel as human beings in an organisation and a team dynamic."
He saw it is a good way for Burling and Tuke to get over their hectic schedule that saw back-to-back Olympics dove-tailed into America's Cup success.
"For them it's a bit of a detox, the third leg of the stool really ... Olympics, America's Cup and Volvo."
Dalton revealed he had investigated his syndicate returning to the Volvo Ocean Race this year but those discussions came while the America's Cup campaign was still unfolding and there were too many uncertainties.
"In the end it was just too late. I couldn't make any final decisions till after the America's Cup. To do a proper job of finding the money - no small job in itself - and then do a proper job after what we have just come off would have been wrong.
"Getting a boat wasn't the issue, there was one available. But putting a team together when we have some pretty big priorities at the moment and acquitting ourselves to try and win it (the Volvo) when realistically we weren't going to ... it just became the wrong option."
Dalton said the following Volvo Ocean Race, tentatively timed for 2019-20 "is absolutely an option". But again, it would have to fit in with the team's priority which is the America's Cup with the defence set down for Auckland in 2021.
Team New Zealand's designer Guillaume Verdier is designing the foiling monohull that will feature in the 2019 Volvo, giving the Kiwis a feel for what looms.
"They will be really exciting boats. It just depends how everything goes, but we might look at it if we can afford it," Dalton said.