Tutukaka was treated to a visit from sailing royalty over the past week as members of New Zealand and Japan's national sailing teams trained in the area.
Normally, the sailors would be in Europe, the United States or Japan over the winter period for training. However, thanks to Covid-19, it forced the teams to look at a domestic option.
For the first time, the New Zealand team decided to base its winter training in Tutukaka. This past week was the fourth week-long training camp the team had held in the area since May.
However, it was the first camp attended by Olympic Games champions Peter Burling and Kerikeri's Blair Tuke.
Both Tuke and Burling caused quite a stir when they visited the Tutukaka Coast Youth Sailing Club training on Thursday afternoon, even though many of the 23 up-and-coming sailors didn't recognise the gold medallists at first.
Lennox Lindsay, 8, didn't know the pair as they approached, but once informed, was in awe as Tuke and Burling helped the sailors rig up their various vessels.
"It was really cool to meet the best sailors in the world," he said.
Silvia Lindsay, Lennox's mother and sailing club secretary, said the opportunity for the children to meet and talk with New Zealand's best sailors was extraordinary.
"I'm not sure [the children] know how incredibly lucky they are!" she said.
"It's making an impact on them, to be able to meet these people then see them on the TV and see them in action ...it's definitely inspiring them."
Tuke, who arrived last Saturday, said it was important to find a winter training venue that matched expected conditions in Tokyo for next year's Olympic Games.
According to Tuke, the swell, wind chop and open nature of Tutukaka's coastline simulated where the sailors will competing south of Tokyo next year. Despite the hope travel would be safer in future years, Tuke said the team was open to coming back and training again in Tutukaka.
Being in Tutukaka also afforded the team the rare opportunity to sail the roughly 14 nautical miles out to the Poor Knights Islands on Monday.
"We're so used to racing around courses so to do a bit more of a mission like that is pretty cool," he said.
Asked of his experience with the Tutukaka sailing club, Tuke said it was one of the highlights of the week.
"That was pretty awesome, some of them were on their first-ever sailing day so that was pretty cool to meet them and give them a couple of tips."
While both Tuke and Burling were consumed by the impending America's Cup with Team New Zealand, Tuke said they were focused as ever on replicating their efforts in Brazil in Japan.
"Obviously, we haven't been spending much time in the 49er given that the Olympics got pushed out and our main focus is on Team New Zealand at the moment, but this week's very important in our preparations for next year, so we've still got our eyes firmly set on winning another gold medal for our country."