Tuke, Burling launch racing team with focus on women's sailing

Source: 1News

Kiwi sailing stars Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have launched their own yacht racing team with a focus on developing the women's foiling scene.

Tuke and Burling launched Live Ocean Racing on Wednesday, aiming to promote their environmental foundation as they look to enter premier regattas in the future.

Their first venture th will be in the ETF26 Grand Prix with a team featuring some of the country's most successful women sailors.

The team, skippered by Liv Mackay, will race on foiling 26-foot catamarans with a crew of three which Tuke and Burling see as a way of accelerating women sailors' pathways into professional events such as the SailGP and America's Cup.

“When we started Live Ocean Foundation, we did it with the vision of using our sailing platform for good. We’ve launched Live Ocean Racing now as we’ve seen the need to provide more opportunities for women in foiling boats and felt that this was the right time and place to start,” Burling said.

Live Ocean Racing on the water.

“Looking ahead, Live Ocean Racing will break the mould of traditional sailing team’s assembling only for a single campaign, creating an agile team that races with purpose. ETF26 is just the beginning.”

Mackay, who has been part of Tuke and Burling's New Zealand SailGP team this year, said she was thrilled with the team's creation.

“Sailing is evolving rapidly, with new technology and innovative boat designs dominating professional sailing,” Mackay said.

“Up until now the majority of women have spent their careers in single or double-handed dinghies with very limited opportunities to move beyond that into professional campaigns and foiling boats."

Mackay will be joined by Olympic and world champions Jo Aleh, Molly Meech, Alex Maloney, and Erica Dawson.

“The ETF26 Grand Prix offers opportunities for more time training and competing in foiling boats, a larger team environment and a chance to hone and refine racing skills," she added.

The team will debut in the series when it starts next weekend before racing in five events across France and Italy.