In a bid to get back on top of their AC45 game, Emirates Team New Zealand have called on a San Franciscan to educate them, while the Koreans have turned to a Kiwi Olympian to steer them in the right direction.
Dean Barker's crew "failed to spark" in the last event of the America's Cup World Series on San Francisco Bay, finishing seventh in fleet racing and fourth in match racing.
So they've gone to Dee Smith, rated by many as one of the world's top tacticians, to clue them up on the nuances of the bay before the next ACWS event on October 3.
"We plan to focus on understanding of the venue, the tidal current and the breeze, and the tactical situations that arise," Barker says.
Veteran Smith has almost 50 years of racing experience, and was in the afterguard of America True in the 2000 America's Cup in Auckland, and worked with the South African challenge Team Shosholoza in the 2007 Cup in Valencia.
Barker's crew are heading to San Francisco early to be better prepared for the regatta than they were for last month's event, when their focus had been on sailing their new AC72.
"This regatta is as much about doing well in the event as it is about understanding the conditions here for next year's Louis Vuitton Cup. This is our last opportunity to sail on the course before then," Barker says.
Along with Barker, and Russell Coutts of Team Oracle, there will be another Kiwi at the helm of an AC45 in San Francisco this time around.
Peter Burling, silver medallist for New Zealand in the 49er skiff at the London Olympics, has been invited to drive Team Korea's cat. At 21 he will become the youngest skipper in the America's Cup World Series.
"For Peter, this is a great chance to try something else and it's a great reward following on from his silver medal. He's been Olympic campaigning for six years now, and during that time he's gained the skills, and attracted the attention to put him in this exciting position," says Jez Fanstone, New Zealand's Olympic programme manager.
"It shows young sailors just where Olympic sailing can lead you, and proves youth and Olympic classes are a great training ground for those aspiring to the professional sailing ranks."
Burling will make his America's Cup debut in front of an estimated crowd of 1 million spectators, as the race crews share the bay with the Pacific fleet of the US Navy during the renowned Fleet Week.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Family counts blessings after superbug scare (graphic content)
What is your perfect boating day?