“A home away from home” is how Olympic gold and silver medalists, Blair Tuke and Peter Burling are referring to Viaduct Harbour. As the two sailors ramp up preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Games, they do so with full support from the waterfront precinct, the latest sponsors to officially jump on board.
More than just an expression of their affection, as a teenager Tuke actually called the Viaduct Harbour his home for a period of time with his family aboard their boat. “I remember John White [Viaduct Harbour’s long-standing marina manager] back then, he was a bit of a legend to be honest” explains Tuke with fond memories of the area.
“The area has grown and developed into such a happening place. Pete and I are happy to see how conscious the Viaduct Harbour team are of protecting its water and environment. To see how much waste Viaduct Harbour’s Seabin is catching in the marina, for example, just shows how much needs to be done to protect our harbour. That’s something we’re looking forward to helping with”
Winning every major regatta between the London and Rio Olympics — where the pair famously cleaned up by the largest margin of victory seen, in more than 50 years — sets an unprecedented background as Tuke & Burling head into a season of pre-Olympic qualifiers, including the pinnacle World Championship being hosted locally in Orakei Bay this December.
Their previous successes certainly do not mean that either of the sailors will be resting on their laurels, with Burling quick to add that “There’s a lot of talent coming through not only international, but here in New Zealand, which we’re happy to see. With fewer than 400 days to Tokyo, Tukey and I know we have a big challenge ahead of us and pumped to give it everything we’ve got for another chance at gold.”