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Sir Peter Blake

A meticulous planner and gifted leader, Peter Blakes's fierce determination to win inspires loyalty from his crew and confidence from those who back him. His unique management skills involves placing the best people in positions where they will be most effective and giving them room to operate.

At the head of the 1995 Team New Zealand syndicate, Blake's combination of abilities helped win the 1995 America's Cup, just the second time in the event's 144-year history that a non-American team had won the covetted silver trophy.

Brought in at the eleventh hour by Michael Fay to manage New Zealand's 1992 America's Cup challenge, Blake led the Kiwi team to the challenger finals with NZL-20. However, Italy emerged from the controversial series with the Louis Vuitton Cup, and went on to face America³ in the America's Cup match.

In 1995, Blake was back, this time at the head of Team New Zealand, which sailed under the burgee of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

"We have the best team, with the will to win. We're sailing in our national sporting colors (black, with a silver fern) and aiming to be first at the finish line every time," said Blake at the outset of the challenger trials.

Ultimately, the New Zealand team, with Blake on board as a crew member, crossed the line first in all but one race. The Kiwis swept the final series against San Diego Yacht Club's Team Dennis Conner, 5-0. This unprecedented win-loss record was, indeed, a tribute to Blake's inspirational abilities, and the effect of bonding the syndicate head with the crew.

With more than a half-million racing and cruising miles, Peter Blake, 48, is a seasoned ocean sailor. He has forged a singular reputation in ocean racing with a record-smashing non-stop round-the-world finish aboard ENZA in 1994, and a berth in the first five Whitbread Round the World Races. In the 1989-90 Whitbread race, he skippered Steinlager | to an unprecedented clean sweep — his team walked off with line, handicap and overall honors on each of the race's six legs.

Blake's numerous accolades include two Sportsman of the Year awards and four Yachtsman of the Year awards. He was named a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in 1983 for services to yachting, and received a knighthood from the Queen of England in 1991, honored with the title of Officer of the British Empire (OBE), again for services to yachting.


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