Northland sailing veterans say Team New Zealand's emphatic win in the America's Cup — plus the profile of local sailors such as Blair Tuke — will encourage more youngsters to take up the sport.
The head of Tuke's home club is calling for a roadshow to harness the surging interest in sailing, while others hope the win can be used to encourage more girls and Māori to take up the sport.
Kerikeri Cruising Club commodore Dave Keen said he wanted to see a Team NZ roadshow visit schools around the region to capitalise on the America's Cup victory.
When the Blues rugby squad visited Kerikeri last month he saw, through his own grandchildren, how inspired kids could be by meeting sports stars they idolised on TV.
Tuke, who attended Riverview School in Kerikeri, still dropped in to the school when in town, Keen said.
''If we can do something quickly that will really help sailing. Before too long we'd have more kids who want to go to Lake Manuwai or Dove's Bay to join our learn to sail programme, and we'd have bloody good attendance next summer.''
After Tuke's Olympic medal wins in 2012 and 2016 Keen organised homecoming parades which saw thousands of people pack Kerikeri's main street.
He was hoping to organise some kind of America's Cup celebration, possibly on Kerikeri Domain.
Derry Godbert, the godfather of sailing in Kerikeri, said an America's Cup win always generated ''a burst of interest'' and encouraged young people to take up the sport.
Last week he had spent five days coaching 200 primary school children, all of whom had heard about the races taking place in Auckland.
He told them Tuke was their age when he started sailing, which showed where the sport could lead if they wanted to pursue it seriously.
Godbert said both Tuke and Burling were outstanding role models.
He had known Tuke since he was a boy and recalled how, as an 18-year-old, he had organised a team to travel to the world teams regatta in Perth and came home with a silver medal.
''I was so impressed he did that at his age.''
He also knew Burling from coaching stints in Tauranga and was struck by his talent and modesty.
On one occasion Burling, then still a schoolboy, was competing in a school regatta in boats called 420s. It was three days into the competition before he admitted he'd just won the world 420 championships.
''There's a huge depth to both of them,'' Godbert said.
Manuela Gmuer-Hornell, who was the first female commodore of Ōpua Cruising Club, also believed the win would boost interest in sailing.
When the Swiss team Alinghi won the Cup in 2003 and 2007 every learn to sail programme in the land-locked nation was booked out and budding sailors travelled to New Zealand to learn the ropes.
However, she hoped the hype around Team NZ's win could be harnessed to make the sport more inclusive.
''Every yacht club is dominated by middle-aged white men. I hope we can get more inclusive, not just for girls but also for Māori.''
The Youth America's Cup, for example, had a rule stipulating crews had to be 50-50 male and female.
At a national level, however, the sport lacked vision about female participation.
Gmuer-Hornell said Bay of Islands Sailing Week, New Zealand's biggest multi-day regatta, was already working to get more young people involved.
The regatta ran a programme called Room for One More in which teams were encouraged to take on a young person as part of the crew.
There was some reluctance at first among the more competitive teams but the idea had caught on when they realised it paid off by upskilling future sailors.
Other Northlanders on board Te Rehutai, Team NZ's AC75 foiling monohull, included offside control Andy Maloney (Kerikeri) and grinders Marcus Hansen (Whangārei) and Marius van der Pol (Russell). The team's hydraulics engineer is Carsten Mueller of Waipapa.
Although raised in Tauranga, Team NZ skipper Peter Burling also has close ties to Northland. His father is from Whangārei and his grandparents live in Kerikeri.