Jimmy Spithill can play all the mind games he wants but it he won't get to Team New Zealand.
That's the message from Emirates Team New Zealand cyclorAndy Maloney ahead of Sunday's first two races of the America's Cup.
Spithill posted a painting on his Instagram account yesterday of an American bald eagle picking up a kiwi, along with the hashtag #battleofbermuda.
The piece of art was created by artist Elena Achilli following the last America's Cup when Spithill and Oracle performed one of the great comebacks to defeat Team New Zealand 9-8.
Team New Zealand trimmer Blair Tuke responded to Spithill's dig with Achilli's latest take on the America's Cup - a cartoon of a kiwi successfully riding away from a tired eagle.
It's just the start of the mind games expected to come from the Australian-born Spithill who famously predicted Oracle's famous comeback over Team New Zealand in 2013 when his team were trailing 8-1 in the series.
Kerikeri's Maloney said the team just laugh it off.
"That sort of banter on social media is just good fun and I think we just take it lightly," Maloney told media in Bermuda this morning.
"They're always going to try toplay mind games with us. They can say what they want but we just think it's pretty funny to be honest. It doesn't really get to us young guys on the boat so much."
Maloney said that the Spithill who fronts the press conferences is a different guy to the one on the boat.
"We just laugh at him at the press conference. We all think he's a bit of a joker. He puts on a tough face but, real life, when you meet him outside of competition it's not actually who he really is - it's the personality he puts on in front of the cameras. We don't take it to heart at all - we just think it's pretty funny."
Maloney has been racing with a couple of stitches in his shin after suffering a cut in Team New Zealand's dramatic pitch-pole during the qualifier semifinal series against BAR.
But he's raring to go in his first America's Cup regatta having won the Red Bull Youth America's Cup alongside Team New Zealand crew member Peter Burling and Blair Tuke in 2013.
Maloney says the qualifying final series against Artemis was great preparation for Team New Zealand ahead of the first to seven points America's Cup series.
"To be honest we'll take this America's Cup each race like we took the finals against Artemis. We go through the same routines and it's the same things out there on the water. Everything is the same for us on the boat, we do our roles as best as we can and that should put us in a pretty good place at the end of each race.
"I think we took a lot of confidence from that last series against Artemis and we improved a heap. We sharpened up our race preparation and daily routines and we take a lot of confidence from that going into the finals."