The 54th Halberg Awards were given away and Blair Tuke and Pete Burling were the proud recipients of the Team of the Year Award. This is one of the most popular sporting accolades of New Zealand. This prestigious black-tie event was hosted by the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation.
Tuke and Burling were pitted against fellow members of the sailing team of New Zealand Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, the Team Sprint combination of Eddie Dawkins, Ethan Mitchell, and Sam Webster and against the rowing pair of Eric Murray and Hamish Bond. This is the fifth time that Burling and Tuke were nominated for the Halberg Awards and this happens to be the first time that the two have won the team award.
Blair said that both he and Pete are really thrilled and humbled to be recognized with this prestigious award, and will celebrate y going to charter a Yacht in Split together. They are really proud of what they have achieved and also proud to have represented their country at the highest level.
The exceptional showing of the 49ers pair at the 2016 Rio Olympics that saw them take the first position and claim the gold medal for New Zealand even before the final race was what inspired the organizers and the judges to hand the award to them. They both had a good time during the run up to the Olympics games. They also worked with the Emirates Team New Zealand during that time to prepare hard for the 2017 Americas Cup. Burling and Tuke were also chosen as the flag bearers of the New Zealand team during the Rio Olympics opening ceremony.
Burling said that they really thank from the bottom of their heart all their supporters and the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation. Both of them are really happy and proud of what they have achieved in their career over the past 4 years.