Tuke and Junior win regional sports awards


The awards keep on coming for Emirates Team New Zealand and their sailors after Blair Tuke and Josh Junior picked up major gongs at their respective regional awards.

Josh Junior won the sports category at the Wellys. Photo: ACEA. 

Tuke took out the Supreme Award at the Northland Sports Awards for a fifth time after earlier collecting the Sportsman of the Year award and Junior was named sportsman of the year at last night's Wellys (Wellingtonian of the Year). 

Junior beat a high-quality field that included two-time World Rugby Player of the Year Beauden Barrett, Silver Ferns captain Katrina Grant and Fran Scholey, who in four seasons as general manager for the Saints basketball team won three NBL titles including an undefeated 2017 season.

"It was a huge surprise to pick up the award in Wellington," Junior said. "Beauden Barrett is World Rugby Player of the Year so to win the award shows what it meant to New Zealanders for us to bring the America's Cup home.

"It was an amazing accomplishment for the team and it has been incredible to see what it has done to the country to win the America’s Cup. 

"I'm a proud Wellingtonian and it's nice to be acknowledged."

The awards for Tuke and Junior followed those for fellow America's Cup sailors Andy Maloney (North Harbour) and Peter Burling (Bay of Plenty) who won the top gongs at their respective regional sports awards.

The quartet were key members onboard Emirates Team New Zealand as they comprehensively beat Oracle 7-1 to win the America's Cup in Bermuda. 

They've all since scattered, with Burling and Tuke involved in the Volvo Ocean Race and Junior and Maloney juggling their time between the Extreme Sailing Series with the NZ Extreme Sailing team and their Olympic campaigns in the heavyweight dinghy Finn class.

It's not likely to be the last recognition for Emirates Team New Zealand, with the America's Cup winners likely to be overwhelming favourites to win the Supreme Award at next year's Halberg Awards.

05 Dec 2017
08 Dec 2017