America’s Cup - Sport

Burling driven by massive feel-good factor

  • Mr Cool: Peter Burling gives his fans a casual thumbs-up after leaving the Great Sound with a 3-0 advantage over Oracle Team USA on Sunday (Photograph by Sander van der Bosch/© ACEA 2017)
  • Solid support: Emirates Team New Zealand have been reinforced by a significant fanbase in Bermuda (Photograph by Sander van der Bosch/© ACEA 2017)

Peter Burling is thrilled that Emirates Team New Zealand were able to reward the travelling army of Kiwis and those watching at home with another pair of wins in the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton.

The helmsman said he has been blown away by the hordes of flag-wearing New Zealanders at the America’s Cup Village as well as the team’s local fanbase in Bermuda.

Burling also thanked his compatriots who have braved the early hours of the morning to watch on television their team’s dominant displays on the Great Sound.

“We’ve made it no secret that we’re made up by the support we get from back home,” said Burling, whose team lead Oracle Team USA 3-0 after taking all four races on Saturday and Sunday to wipe out an enforced one-race deficit.

“It’s amazing how many people have been getting up at five in the morning in New Zealand to watch us.

“We’re also really appreciate of the support we’re getting from the Kiwi fans who have travelled up here as well as the locals who are supporting us.

“To see the amount of Kiwi flags here at the Village is amazing. It really inspires us to keep pushing on.”

Burling steered his team to back-to-back wins on both days at the weekend, with the challengers now four races away from winning the Cup.

Dominating Oracle from start to finish in all four outings, the Kiwis have been in imperious form, although Burling still believes there is room for improvement.

“Today we sailed a fair bit better than yesterday, but we also made a lot of mistakes and feel we’re a bit away from where we could be.” Burling added.

“We’ll just keep focusing on ourselves and it feels like we’re going really well at the moment.

“We’re really happy with where the boat’s at and it was amazing sailing out there today. Bermuda really turned on some amazing weather.”

Burling insists his team will not rest on their laurels and will strive for improvement over the next five days.

“Our team’s really hungry to keep moving forward, keep improving and we’ve now got five days to work on the boat and go over all of the footage,” he said.

“You just have to look at where these boats could be in a year’s time to realise we’re all on a steep learning curve.

“We’ve already got a massive list of things to work on and it feels like if you make one too many mistakes, then [Oracle] will fight back.

“We’re really happy with a lot of the things we’re doing, but I’m sure these guys will come back fighting next weekend.”