In the first of his exclusive weekly columns for the Herald, America's Cup veteran and American Magic helmsman Dean Barker lifts the lid on where things went wrong for his team, its future and that of the regatta.
As tough as it's been accepting American Magic's exit from the Prada Cup challenger series, I'll be the first to say we're not making any excuses.
But there's never a simple answer as to why things don't turn out the way you plan.
Looking back now, the team was on a good trajectory. The boat was doing well, and while we didn't do ourselves any favours in the early round-robins, we were happy with the performance of the boat.
Then came the capsize and with it, the emotion of getting the boat back on the water.
We were so absorbed in the rebuild, I don't think we actually realised how valuable those days we lost being out on the water were. We undervalued the effect of that and underestimated the amount Luna Rossa had stepped up.
We were pretty rough around the edges in the two days leading into the semifinal and it became evident pretty early on to me that we weren't at the level we needed to be, particularly on the Friday.
We were, at best, hanging on around the racecourse on day one of the semi, and went back out on the Saturday with the belief that we could put two good races together. The reality after race three was that we knew that Luna Rossa stepped on a lot in conditions where we would have expected to be strong previously.
And so here we are, almost a week later, addressing the big question: Where to next?
Although it's too early for me to make any decisions on my future in the America's Cup, it would be a real shame to see the New York Yacht Club not continue.
In fact, it's crucial they do. The prestige they bring to the event is unmatched.
The New York Yacht Club and American Magic's future still looks bright and the team have certainly learnt some valuable lessons.
But as for how the America's Cup progresses from here, some things need to change.
Fundamentally, for the event to be successful we need more teams. We've had as many as 12 teams in past America's Cups and the only way they're going to get that again is to reduce the cost.
This has been one of the most expensive campaigns to date which begs the question, is foiling the way to go?
There'll never be a clear consensus one way or the other and I've always been more of a traditionalist, but these boats are really exciting and it's what's keeping people passionate about the sport and increasing youth participation.
There are ways to have the best of both worlds here. One of the best things to do is standardise a number of parts on the boat.
System development and all of the technology that goes into the boats is a huge cost. In this case, you've got four teams all trying to develop exactly the same thing, so why not standardise the hydraulic and flight control systems?
By making a standard one-design set-up you end up with a smaller design group, a smaller shore support team and ultimately costs are lowered.
The America's Cup can never be a one-design event, it has to have that development aspect, but how often do you hear the comment about the magic of these boats being what you can't see below deck?
It's mind-blowing what's achievable these days and how much the technology has moved on, but it is a cost which in reality doesn't need to be born by, in this case, four different teams.
Reduced cost opens the door to more competitors which in turn creates a better event.
So while I sit and ponder my next move, I hope the America's Cup does the same.
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.