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Singular Cup focus for Burling and Tuke

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 6/09/2016 With Olympic glory out of their system, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are knuckling down to focus on

Returning helmsman Peter Burling says he and crewmate Blair Tuke can now be more effective for Team New Zealand after completing their golden Olympic goal.

Burling and Tuke return for the America's Cup World Series regatta in Toulon starting on Friday, the penultimate round of the nine-leg circuit ahead of next year's main regatta in Bermuda.

The pair missed the previous event in Portsmouth to focus on their Olympic 49er campaign in Rio, where they stormed to a resounding gold medal.

Team NZ struggled in Portsmouth, losing their overall series lead to sit third behind British outfit Ben Ainslie Racing and Team USA.

Burling wants the Kiwi syndicate to reclaim top spot and says his mindset has shifted completely, along with that of trimmer Tuke, from skiff sailing to the fast catamarans of the America's Cup.

"For the past four years we have had dual goals we have been working towards, with the Olympics and the America's Cup," he said.

"With the gold medal now ticked off it feels good to now have a singular focus, being part of Team New Zealand."

Skipper Glenn Ashby says while Burling and Tuke's return is an enormous boost, he believes contesting the Portsmouth round without them could have long-term benefits, even though they struggled.

"We actually took a huge amount away from it," he said.

"Changing positions like we did to cover Pete and Blair's absence, we gained a really valuable first hand understanding of each other's roles onboard."

Alongside Burling, Tuke and Ashby is tactician Ray Davies and grinder Guy Endean.

Team NZ shore crew have spent time in Toulon repairing a daggerboard on their AC45 catamaran which was damaged during the final race in Portsmouth.

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