Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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Kiwi gunning for the triple crown

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An Olympic gold medalist, winner of the America’s Cup, and now a possible winner at the Volvo Ocean Race in 2018, helmsman Blair Tuke could be the first sailor in history to receive a triple crown.

New Zealand sailor Blair Tuke has been named the second under 30 sailor to join team MAPFRE in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18.

Blair, who partnered along-side Peter Burling, will join skipper Xabi Fernández in the round-the-world race, which leaves from Alicante on October 22.

“Racing in a Volvo Ocean Race edition has been a long held ambition. Growing up watching Kiwi legends like Sir Peter Blake and Mike Sanderson have great success in round the world racing has inspired me and I’m super excited about joining MAPFRE,” says Blair.

 “There is a lot of experience and talent on board MAPFRE. I am privileged to have the opportunity to broaden my sailing skills while bringing my recent Olympic and America’s Cup experience to the team.”

Xabi Fernández says the idea of them teaming up together came from a conversation that they had in 2015 when Blair joined MAPFRE in a professional and amateur competition (ProAm) where he jumped off the boat before it set off.

“In Bermuda, during the America’s Cup we began to talk about this edition. Blair is a really exciting sailor for the team. Nobody can doubt his talent, and I am absolutely convinced that he will be a really strong addition to the team as trimmer and helmsman.”

Following his recent victory in the America’s Cup in Bermuda, Blair is due to arrive in Spain next week to join the rest of the Spanish team at their base in Sanxenxo, in the Rías Baixas region of Galicia.

 “It is excellent news that Blair has joined us; there is no doubt that he is one of the great names of our sport at the moment. The fact that he has accepted our invitation to join the team makes us proud and demonstrates the international prestige that MAPFRE has acquired,” say MAPFRECEO Pedro Campos.

MAPFRE crew confirmed to date

Xabi Fernández (ESP), Skipper

Pablo Arrarte (ESP), Watch captain

Rob Greenhalgh (GBR), Watch captain

Ñeti Cuervas-Mons (ESP), Bowman and boat captain

Willy Altadill (ESP), trimmer/bowman *Under 30

Blair Tuke (NZL), trimmer/helmsman *Under 30

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