New Zealand fans will probably experience a few nerves early on in the America's Cup showdown against Luna Rossa.
Team New Zealand will be race rusty, no doubt about it, and a few nerves will creep in during the early races if, as is possible, a few losses occur.
And there's always likely to be extra tension in the air when Jimmy Spithill, the ace up Luna Rossa's sleeve, is involved.
Helmsman Spithill has been outstanding so far and not just for his renowned starting ability and self-confidence.
His sharing of the leadership role with Max Sirena and Francesco Bruni has been critical to Luna Rossa's charge into the America's Cup match race.
Self-confident sportsmen often have a big ego, but Spithill has shared the limelight and the kudos for the greater good of the team.
He still won't be able to resist having little digs, trying to get under the skin of TNZ skipper Peter Burling. But Spithill has got his work cut out there.
The young Kiwi skipper showed a cool head in Bermuda four years ago, where he ignored any attempts at mind-games. Who can forget his playful photo-bomb of an overly serious TV interview being given by Spithill in the middle of the event? It was classic.
Burling loves racing fast yachts, he is completely relaxed doing it and keeps the fun factor to the fore.
Not taking yourself too seriously, and having a few laughs, is a great way to keep things in perspective, relieve pressure and keep the demons at bay.
Pete is surrounded with like-minded crew mates who are not only hard-working, experienced and talented, but fun people to be around and sail with.
This will be a critical factor against Luna Rossa's rising challenge.
Luna Rossa's dominant performances in the Prada Cup semifinals and final (11 wins and one loss) have been impressive. Furthermore, the Prada Cup gave them racing time denied to TNZ.
The Kiwi team has not raced against a real opponent since before Christmas. We can expect some mistakes and, perhaps, early losses in the best of 13 race America's Cup series.
The Italians are polished, fast and have the complete package. They make few mistakes, have continued to get faster and extended their performance across the wind range.
Should Team New Zealand be worried? No is my verdict.
Some context is needed when reviewing Luna Rossa's impressive march to victory in the Prada Cup finals.
It was clear as the finals unfolded that Ineos Team UK had fired all their shots during the round robin. Their dismal pre-Christmas regatta in Auckland meant they could not hold anything back. Every improvement and new piece of kit went onto Britannia to be competitive in the Prada Cup qualifiers.
In contrast, Luna Rossa were able to stick with a planned roll out of their final set of foils, mast, sails and continue to improve.
They had four more pre-starts and the opportunity to get into "race mode", even if it was against the wounded American Magic outfit.
As a result, Luna Rossa made notable improvements in their on-board communication, their pre-start timing and decision making, and race-course positioning.
The improvements were clear during the Prada Cup finals. Luna Rossa were sharper, faster, smarter and their performance was a dominant one.
But they will face a Team New Zealand crew stacked with experience
TNZ just need to keep the composure they showed in Bermuda and do what they do so well; sail fast, minimise mistakes and let the results do the talking.
They may make mistakes early in the regatta, but if Te Rehutai is faster than Luna Rossa, then the speed, experience and talent of Peter Burling, Glenn Ashby and Blair Tuke et al. will prevail.
If the team starts with a few whoopsies and fall behind on the score sheet, keep the faith and kia kaha. They will come good.
To quote the great All Blacks coach Sir Steve Hansen – worry is a wasted emotion.
TNZ, under their cool and calm skipper, have mastered the art of staying relaxed. They know that worry doesn't win yacht races.
Heading into the Cup racing?
• Give yourself plenty of time and think about catching a ferry, train or bus to watch the Cup.
• Make sure your AT HOP card is in your pocket. It's the best way to ride.
• Don't forget to scan QR codes with the NZ COVID Tracer app when on public transport and entering the America's Cup Village.
• For more ways to enjoy race day, visit at.govt.nz/americascup.