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Classy Kiwi sailors streak ahead in Spain

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/04/2016
Blair Tuke and Peter Burling © Getty Blair Tuke and Peter Burling

Sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have continued their dominance in the 49er class by increasing their lead at the European championships with two further wins.

The pair had a sixth place in the other race on day four to be 34 points head of the rest of the fleet in Barcelona.

In all, Burling and Tuke, the four-time world champions, have finished first in eight of the 12 races sailed so far this week.

The two have been unbeaten since claiming silver at the 2012 London Olympics and 49er class manager Ben Remocker says they are putting on a master class the likes of which sailing may never have seen.

Remocker says if they can clinch the title this weekend, win again at Hyeres in the south of France, take out the South American championships and then claim gold at the Rio Olympics, they would have won 28 straight regattas in the two-handed skiff class, or every event of a quadrennial cycle.

He says the general assumption is that dominant teams get pulled back by their rivals during a four-year period, but that hasn't been the case with Burling and Tuke.

"Clawing back the Kiwis has not happened, far from it," he said.

"Their wins in Buenos Aires for Worlds 2015 and Clearwater for Worlds 2016 were both by untouchable margins by the end, and they are 34 points ahead of second place already.

Second overall are Australians Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, who took Olympic gold ahead of Burling and Tuke four years ago.

In the 49erFX, Alex Maloney and Molly Meech have slipped to ninth overall after a mixed day.

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