Stuff.co.nz. By Kevin Norquay.
America's Cup yachting hero Peter Burling will not be 2017 Sportsman of the Year, unless there is a late change of tack by Team New Zealand (TNZ), who do not want him put above the team.
Burling steered TNZ to victory off Bermuda in June, to become the youngest winning helmsman in the 166-year history of the Auld Mug.
While that victory seemed to have given him a lock on Sportsman of the Year, his name has not yet been put forward, with list of Halberg Awards nominees to be released on Thursday.
The awards annually recognise New Zealand's top sporting achievements, with the David-beats-Goliath America's Cup win over Oracle an inescapable 2017 highlight.
Burling and Blair Tuke won Team of the Year at the 2016 awards, after winning yachting gold at the Rio Olympic Games.
TNZ have been nominated for Team of the Year by Yachting New Zealand, yet TNZ have turned down repeated approaches to nominate Burling as an individual.
National sports organisations nominate athletes, while an awards nominations panel has the power to go back to sports if it considers a key name missing.
It is understood the panel has raised Burling with Yachting New Zealand numerous times, with the yachting body then trying to persuade TNZ to change their mind.