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18 Feb 2018 11:59
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Sailing

    Tuke commits to global ocean race

    New Zealand's Blair Tuke will chase another major sailing prize after signing on as a crewman for the Volvo Ocean Race.

    Kiwi sailor Blair Tuke is on board to contest the Volvo Ocean race, hoping to add another major achievement to his CV.

    Tuke confirmed on Friday he has signed with Spanish team MAPFRE as a trimmer/helmsman for the 2017-18 race which begins in October.

    If successful, the 27-year-old will add to a 49er gold medal won alongside Peter Burling at last year's Rio Olympics, and his key on-boat role in helping Team New Zealand reclaim the America's Cup in Bermuda.

    Both Tuke and Team NZ helmsman Burling had spoken about the possibility of maiden appearances in the gruelling race which circumnavigates the globe.

    For Tuke, it has been a long-held goal to contest the event.

    "The Volvo is actually something I wanted to do before the America's Cup and maybe before I started to get into Olympic sailing," Tuke told NZME.

    "It's just happened in a round-about way. My motivation is just to go out there and hopefully help MAPFRE get across the line first at the end, and for myself to grow as a sailor and to broaden my skills and basically get better."

    Tuke will leave next week to join his new team, who are skippered by long-time 49er class rival Xabi Fernandez.

    Tuke said his Ocean commitments don't rule him out of another Olympic campaign, stressing he and nine-year crewmate Burling would still have the option of competing at Tokyo in 2020.


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