A romance has blossomed between an Italian sailor and a member of TVNZ's seven-strong America's Cup coverage team.
Luna Rossa grinder Nicholas Brezzi and reporter Emily van Velthooven met through mutual sailing friends before the first stage of the regatta in December, Spy understands. Sources in the America's Cup Village say the pair have been dating and are often seen out and about together at various local haunts.
On Valentine's Day, van Velthooven posted a picture of a beautiful bouquet of flowers to Instagram — but kept quiet about who they were from. Spy is told they were from Brezzi.
It could lead to some awkward family moments ahead of the America's Cup — van Velthooven is the younger sister of Simon, a grinder for Emirates Team NZ.
TVNZ would not comment on the romance and Luna Rossa would also not be drawn.
Palmerston North-raised van Velthooven is a respected 1 News reporter and has shone alongside presenters Toni Street and Scotty Morrison.
Last month in an interview with Spy, she said she couldn't wait to show viewers at home just how well Auckland can host a party.
Meanwhile, Brezzi commented on social media in October — "Describe Auckland in one word: rain."
The sun seems to have come out with a win for his team in the Prada Cup last weekend.
Last month, rugby-loving Brezzi was thrilled when former All Black captain Richie McCaw visited Luna Rossa before they raced.
"I'm a big fan, I've played rugby for a long time, we were quite proud because a lot of the boys like rugby. It gave us confidence and it was nice," Brezzi told the Herald of McCaw's pre-race visit.
The Italian had a couple of seasons playing club rugby as a winger and also competed as a rower before his stellar sailing career.
In rowing, he represented Italy in 2010 and won the European Championship. He participated with the Italian National team in seven world championships earning a gold, a silver and two bronze medals.
The 36th America's Cup is Brezzi's first, competing as part of Luna Rossa's New Generation Programme.
It is van Velthooven's second America's Cup — she was up in Bermuda to support her brother in 2017 where she fell in love with the sport.