America's Cup teams are feeling the pressure as the clock ticks towards the start of the 36th America's Cup, including the 2021 Youth America's Cup.
Race 1 of the America's Cup in March 2021 will be the first occasion that the trophy will officially be on the line since it was won in Bermuda in 2017, and Emirates Team New Zealand is taking the view that it's not enough to simply defend the Cup - they want to win it as much as any of the challengers.
"Everything we have put in place over the last couple of years is aiming at 6 March 2021 and the subsequent weeks," Emirates Team New Zealand chief operating officer Kevin Shoebridge says.
"For the challengers, you are trying to win the Cup, but when you are the defender, you also have other considerations.
"At the end of the day, no matter who you are, you still feel the need to win the Cup.
"This mindset is a subtle change, but I think a correct one, and it's how we are all thinking here."
Less than a year out, Emirates Team New Zealand is looking at what is still to be accomplished if the team is going to be in a position to win the Cup again.
"We feel as though we are in a good space," Shoebridge says.
"We have a lot going on this year with developing Boat 1, developing the 12-metre test boat, and now we have Boat 2 under construction."
There are concerns for the preparation of all America's Cup teams involved, following the potential cancellation of the America's Cup World Series (ACWS) in Cagliari, Italy.
Challengers of Record Circolo della Vela Sicilia, who are represented by their team Luna Rossa Challenge, will submit a proposal to the America's Cup Arbitration Panel for the postponement of the ACWS Sardinia - Cagliari, and to decide a new date.
"It is quite obvious that the ACWS Cagliari event cannot go ahead," Emirates Team New Zealand confirmed.
Most of the competing teams have diverted their plans to transport their boats to Italy, while INEOS Team UK has pulled out of its base in Sardinia.
The ACWS presented the first opportunity to actually sail against each other for the first time on their latest foiling boats, and teams will have to wait until the ACWS Portsmouth on June 4-7.
With intense deadlines to meet leading into the America's Cup, all teams involved are feeling the heat.
Shore team manager Sean Regan at Emirates Team New Zealand says, "If we don't deliver this boat on time then we have failed.
"So, there is a bit of pressure on us.
"We have to produce a weapon for our sailors to go to war with on the water."
The 2021 edition of the America's Cup is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated events of next year.
For the sailors, it's a moment to discover precisely where they stand as competitors and they all feel the enormity of the race.
The warning signal of the America's Cup, like the warning signal in any race, is a moment of tension," adds Francesco Bruni of Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, the Italian Challenger of Record.
"You have to keep yourself focused on the important things and try to think only about the race and nothing else to perform at your best.
"It's going to be a great feeling to be on the start line in Auckland, one year from now.
"I'm really looking forward to it."
So is INEOS Team UK Skipper Sir Ben Ainslie.
"The America's Cup is the pinnacle of sailing, so to be in that position, to be racing for the Cup next year, that's an incredible opportunity," he says.
"There's always a lot of pressure, but if you enjoy that kind of thing then there's no better platform in the sport of sailing."
The big question on March 6, 2021, will be which team got their boat design right?
It will all come down to that moment on the start line when all that's left to do is get out and race.
Jack O'Rourke is a contributor to Ocean Media
BOATING MADE EASY
Central Coast boaters now have safer and easier access to Budgewoi Lake with work complete on a new boat ramp and jetty for Hot Water Outlet at San Remo.
NSW Maritime acting director Alex Barrell said the new boat ramp and jetty was a great addition to San Remo and was co-funded by the NSW Government and Central Coast Council through a grant of $432,925 from the Boating Now program.
It includes a new single lane boat ramp and jetty, car park improvements and landscaping. The $98 million Boating Now program provides boaters with better and safer access to NSW waterways with upgrades and new infrastructure.
The 2020 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, scheduled for May 21-24, will not go ahead as planned.
Organisers have had to postpone the show until further notice because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Mulpha Events, organisers of one of the most popular boat shows in Australia, hope the event will still happen this year, but no date has been confirmed.
Last year, the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show attracted 47,243 visitors, with 182 boats on water and 423 boats on land across The Marine Village precincts. There were 334 individual exhibitors.