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'It was a real baptism of fire' - Burling admits New Zealand struggles at Bermuda Sail Grand Prix

24 APRIL 2021News
Tags:
  • New Zealand

Peter Burling admits New Zealand endured ‘a real baptism of fire’ on its SailGP debut in Bermuda.

The New Zealand SailGP Team made its first appearance in SailGP on Friday, with expectations high for the team which features top-of-the-line athletes Burling and Blair Tuke.

But after the first day’s racing, New Zealand propped up the rest of the leaderboard with only 11 points from a possible 30.

A sixth placed finish in the opening race was as good as it got for Burling’s team, who ended each of the further two races lagging behind all the other teams on the Great Sound.

The Kiwis can be forgiven for their poor performance on Friday, having had just one day of training on the F50 before racing got under way.

And Burling understands his team struggled to cope as it made its SailGP bow.

“Today was a real baptism of fire for us,” said Burling following Friday's three fleet races. “We really struggled to keep the boat under control.

“It felt like we had some really good points in all of the races, but we couldn’t quite put one together.

“That’s our second time sailing our boat and probably the first time in that breeze, and it’s always hard learning while racing in an event… but that is something we are going to have to do.”

New Zealand will begin the second day of the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix with a lot of work to do to climb the leaderboard and be in with a shot of qualifying for the Final.