'Always had an X-factor' — By 12, Peter Burling's sailing prowess had exceeded Tauranga Yacht Club's boss

As celebrations continued late into the night yesterday after Team New Zealand lifted the Auld Mug, things felt close to home in Tauranga as supporters watched their own Peter Burling lead his team to victory again.

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Burling has gained plenty of accolades since then, but yesterday’s back-to-back America’s Cup victory has to rank up there. Source: Breakfast

Now one of the most remarkable sailors in the world, Burling's passion started at the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club.

Burling was always one to watch, even as a young sailor, the former commodore of the club told Breakfast today.

Gary Smith said by the age of 12, Burling’s skills had already exceeded his own.

“He’s always had a bit of an X-factor in his sailing. Lots of other members in the club spotted this young guy,” Smith said.

“One of the things he wanted to do was be part of Team New Zealand, so he’s always aspired to that.

“But he hasn't done that to the exclusion of others. He's raised the bar with everyone around him to make himself go faster. He's just that sort of competitive guy.”

Watch the full Breakfast interview in the video above.