Archive for » March 20th, 2013«


Macgregor formed one third of Britain’s match racing team at London 2012, which included skip and older sister Lucy as well as Annie Lush, with the trio heading into the Games as the world champions from 2010.

They surrendered their world title to America in 2011, settling for silver, before finishing sixth at the 2012 edition and then seventh at the Olympics just over a month later as Spain won gold in Weymouth.

Women’s match racing made its Olympic debut at London 2012, replacing the Yngling class from Beijing 2008, however the Elliott 6m will not be at the next Games in Rio in 2016 with the gender taking up the 49er FX.

It is this boat that Macgregor has moved into and she credits it for helping her move on from her Olympic disappointment with her first competitive outing coming at the end of the month at the Palma World Cup.

“We didn’t get the result we wanted at the Olympics so that was a bit depressing to be honest. I think we all handled it very differently at the time and there were a lot of tears for sure,” said Macgregor.

“But then I think it actually took a lot longer to get over it than I thought it would and I’m now sailing a new boat, which has helped.

“The new boat is amazing and I’m learning something new every day so it’s a great opportunity. It is completely different to what I’m used to.

“It’s just refreshing and a new challenge and I’m always improving at the moment which is a really nice feeling. So I just need to keep that going and aim for gold in Rio.

“We have a few events before the middle of June so it’s quite full on and our Europeans are at the beginning of July in Denmark and our worlds are at the end of September.

“We don’t know what our opposition will be like yet so from our first event it will be easier to set goals but our aim is to get our performance funding for our World Championships, which will be challenging.”

As opposed to the Elliott 6m, which is a keelboat crewed by three people at the Olympics, the 49er FX is a women’s two-person skiff with 22-year-old Macgregor one of eight Brits tackling the boat currently.

And, while she looks set to sail with Mary Rook in Palma, Macgregor admitted it won’t be until June and the Sail for Gold Regatta on the London 2012 Olympic waters in Weymouth that partnerships will be confirmed.

“There are four boats within the squad and within that we are rotating so we actually sail with a different person at each event,” she added.

“So after Sail for Gold in June we will decide who we will sail with for the Europeans and the worlds. It’s really great to sail with new people especially as they’ve got a lot of skiff experience and I haven’t.

“I’m just trying to learn as much as I can off the different crews.”

© Sportsbeat 2013

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Burling and Tuke announce 2016 Olympic campaign

The NZL Sailing Team is in good shape with 2012 Olympic silver medallists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke today announcing that they will campaign again towards the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.

The pair has confirmed that they will continue their partnership in the 49er – the Olympic skiff class.

“We have loved sharing our medals with the New Zealand public, and the reception we got when we returned to New Zealand after the Games was incredible and we are excited to take up the challenge again,” says Blair Tuke, crew on the 49er.

“We are excited to be part of the NZL Sailing Team as we all build on the success from London 2012. It’s a great time to be involved in New Zealand Olympic class sailing with a number of exciting campaigns aiming for the podium in Rio,” says Burling, helm on the 49er.

Yachting New Zealand’s High Performance Director Jez Fanstone is delighted that his silver medal winning crew have affirmed their campaign and will be part of the new look NZL Sailing Team; “It’s great news that Peter and Blair have confirmed their Rio 2016 campaign and that their goal is to go one better than silver. With both 2012 Olympic medal winning crews back in the NZL Sailing Team it puts us in a really strong position moving forward to Rio. This will positively impact the whole NZL Sailing Team, which will have some fresh faces during this next cycle – the young ones will draw on and learn from their experience.”

Burling and Tuke have taken some time to confirm their intentions, enjoying sailing in a variety of boats since their silver medal performance in August last year.

“It’s not a decision we have taken lightly. We understand that we have oppurtunities in professional sailing but to try and stand on the top of the Olympic podium is a goal we have both had for a long time and we see Rio 2016 as the best chance we have in achieving that,” explains Tuke.

Other sailing opportunities have already come their way and the calendar for 2013 won’t be strictly 49er sailing. Together Burling and Tuke will lead the NZL Sailing Team with Emirates Team New Zealand, as skipper and tactician respectively, set to sail an AC45 catamaran in Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Regatta in San Francisco from September 1st – 4th.

The Extreme 40 Series has also beckoned with the pair winging off to Muscat, Oman in early March for Round 1 of the Extreme Sailing Series for Team Korea.

However, Tuke concedes that the 2013 49er World Championships is the main goal. By the time it rolls around at the end of September (21st -28th) in Marseille, France they plan to bring their A-game. “The 49er World Champs is definitely the pinnacle regatta for us this year and we want to be back in top form by then. We know that we can’t just do the same things we did last time and expect to be at the top of the fleet, everyone else will be upping their game, and we need to do the same. One of the reasons we have been sailing in plenty of other high performance classes since the games is to become better sailors and learn new things that we can bring to the 49er”.

While it’s hard to imagine these sailors fitting anything else in alongside their busy training and sailing programme, both Burling and Tuke are reaching other milestones too.

Tuke left school at 17, undertaking an Electrical Apprenticeship focussing on this full-time for two years initially. While it went on the side burner before London 2012, Tuke is currently completing some final paperwork and he hopes to be a qualified Electrician by May.

Burling similarly has juggled his sailing career with his education goals. This year he will continue his quest towards a Mechanical Engineering degree by taking on some more second and third year papers.

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trn/irs sailing pblast

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