The New Zealand sailing team will expand from 11 to 13 for their 2018 campaign, including August's combined world championships in Denmark, but the status of Peter Burling and Blair Tuke remains unclear.

The 2016 Olympic 49er gold medallists and America's Cup winners are currently in the Volvo Ocean Race and yet to decide if they'll compete with the Kiwi team. They are also undecided on whether they will defend their gold at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Yachting New Zealand director Ian Stewart said that he plans to sit down with the pair next month to get a gauge on their Olympic plans.

"It's up to them, and they still need to juggle their [America's] Cup commitments," said


"It's sounding positive, they're returning to Auckland with the Volvo in March and we've agreed to have another chat there to get a clearer view on their plans."

Whether they will race at the world championships is another question, and Stewart believes it would be a difficult proposition for the pair.

"You'd have to think on the back of the Volvo - it's a big ask. That race takes a bigger toll than most people think."

Elsewhere, there are three new faces in the New Zealand team, with Laser sailor Tom Saunders and Nacra 17 duo Liv Mackay and Micah Wilkinson stepping in.

Of last year's team, only former Olympic medallist Jo Aleh is absent.

Stewart said 2018 was all about results, including success at the world championships.

He said that was the year's pinnacle event as Tokyo draws nearer.

"It's a fresh-looking and re-energised squad and one that is evolving in the way we would hope - we've done plenty of planning and preparation and now it's time for our sailors to translate that into good results," Stewart said.

Elsewhere, Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders will continue to lead the Nacra 17 charge, while Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox are in the men's 470.

Both Saunders and Sam Meech are standouts in the Laser event.

Stewart said he wanted depth across all disciplines.

"We've seen in the past the value for our top sailors in having quality training partners, which also lifts the ability of those around them to the point they are pushing for Olympic inclusion," Stewart said.

All members of the Kiwi team - barring Burling and Tuke - will take part in this weekend's Oceanbridge New Zealand sailing regatta in Auckland.

2018 NZL Sailing Team:

Sam Meech (Laser)
Tom Saunders (Laser)
Josh Junior (Finn)
Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (49erFX)
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (49er)
Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox (men's 470)
Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (Nacra 17)
Liv Mackay and Micah Wilkinson (Nacra 17)