Peter Burling is playing down the personal rivalries as Team New Zealand get set to start their next America's Cup campaign with the world series event in England this weekend.
The event includes all six teams so far confirmed for the 2017 America's Cup in Bermuda, including newcomer Japan who have axed Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker in charge.
That's an obvious and juicy rivalry for the start of this campaign. But the presence of heavyweights like Cup-holding skipper Jimmy Spithill (Oracle), experienced Aussie Nathan Outtridge (Artemis racing, Sweden) and Cup winner Sir Ben Ainslie (BAR, Britain) mean Burling and his team face intense competition from all angles in this quick-fire format.
The Portsmouth regatta, sailed in foiling 45-foot catamarans, features four races on the tricky Solent with little room for error.
“It doesn't matter who we are sailing against. There is always a big deal made up of the personal match ups of the skippers. For us its just another boat with some other guys on board that we want to sail better than.” Burling said on Team New Zealand's website.
“Once the gun goes, talk and hype is irrelevant, it's who is the best on the water on any given race, they walk away with the goods. Not much else matters really.”
Read more here, including comments from Sailing Director Glenn Ashby.