Emirates Team New Zealand booked their redemption shot against Oracle after seeing off Artemis Racing in the America's Cup challenge in Bermuda.
Things could have been a lot different after the day was initially abandoned but a decision to race was made, giving Team NZ the opportunity to secure victory.
And secure it they did, thanks in large part to the Northland contingent of flight controller/cyclor Blair Tuke, cyclor Andy Maloney and helmsman Peter Burling.
They saw off Artemis 5-2 to give themselves their fifth challenge at the Auld Mug.
One person who has been watching with interest is Derry Godbert, the former coach of Tuke.
Godbert has been hugely impressed by Tuke for a long time and is happy he is performing well for New Zealand.
"They [Tuke and Burling] are very young for what they're doing and they're doing such a fantastic job," he said.
"They're under huge pressure and, knowing Blair, I'm sure he's been putting a lot of energy into this.
"He is a switched on and energetic young man and he's obviously working hard at the regatta."
Godbert said the pair were great men both on and off the boat.
"Blair's a person of huge skill and ability, a really nice person too. I've really enjoyed his success. People like him make the world go around," he said.
"I've noticed Blair's been quiet on the boat. Pete's been doing the talking. They got the gold together in Rio and they worked fantastically as a team. Watching them train before the Olympics was fantastic. They were relaxed but focused.
"They're both really neat guys. They aren't arrogant in any shape or form."
Both Tuke and Burling, with Kerikeri-based cyclor Andy Maloney have been putting in stellar efforts for Team NZ throughout the regatta, but the big challenge starts this weekend against Oracle.
Burling said Artemis provided the perfect preparation for Oracle.
"They've [Oracle] been sitting in the shed over there and are probably about to go out training," said Burling. "Artemis has been an absolutely amazing opponent and really pushed us incredibly hard.
"That's something we can take forward into that next round. We've had some really, really hard racing from an amazing team like Artemis, which will put us in good shape heading into the Cup."
Burling denied that his team had been keeping a wary eye on Oracle, since they finished the challenger qualifying series and returned to the training track.
"We've just been worrying about getting past these guys [Artemis] and it was one step at a time," he said. "We're really, really happy to be going through to the Cup match and we feel we can bring it home to New Zealand."
The America's Cup challenge will be raced over a first-to-seven-win format, beginning Sunday (NZ time). New Zealand will begin one win behind, after their rivals took out the challenger qualifying series two weeks ago.
- Additional reporting from NZME.
What you need to know:
- Team New Zealand is through to the America's Cup, where they take on Oracle in a first to seven wins series.
- After Sunday and Monday's racing, there is a five-day break before more racing the following Sunday and Monday.
- Oracle start with a 1-0 advantage after winning the round robin challenger series ahead of Team New Zealand. The winner of that series takes a point into the Cup final.
- Sky Sport has coverage from 5am with delayed free-to-air coverage on Prime from 6:30am. If you can't get near a TV, there is a live blog on nzherald.co.nz as well as radio coverage on Radio Sport and Newstalk ZB
Our Northland crew:
Northland is responsible for three of Team NZ's crew (Peter Burling's grandparents live in Northland so we'll claim him). Here's a snapshot of each with their role aboard the boat.
Peter Burling - helmsman
Burling has long been compared to New Zealand's greatest yachtsman Russell Coutts. He is responsible for driving the boat and making most of the tactical decisions out on the water. Along with Tuke, Burling was one of the first new crew brought aboard following the collapse in San Francisco.
Blair Tuke - flight controller/cyclor
One of Kerikeri's finest, Tuke joins his Rio Olympics gold medal-winning 49er class partner Burling on the boat in a brand new and unique hybrid role. His main role is to control the rake of the daggerboards to keep the boat foiling efficiently. However, he doubles as a grinder on Team NZ's ingenious new cycle grinding system.
Andy Maloney - cyclor
Another Kerikeri yachting star, Maloney put on 10kg to take on the role after throwing himself into preparations following missing out on the Laser class selection for the Rio Olympics. He is one of the strongest cyclors in the Team NZ peloton and is a regular in the rotating cast of cyclors. His role is to power the hydraulics that controls the boat's systems by pedalling.