What a difference a month makes.
This time four weeks ago the Ineos Team UK campaign looked in tatters.
They had endured a miserable America's Cup World Series – plagued by gear failure and countless issues – and appeared to be a lame duck challenge.
But they have completed a stunning comeback, and are now favourites for the Prada Cup.
Yesterday's narrow win (0:31) over Luna Rossa was their most impressive yet, as they outfoxed the Italians, despite not being able to get 100 per cent performance from Britannia, due to an sail alignment issue, which caused them to play their delay card before the start.
Helmsman Sir Ben Ainslie was overjoyed with the performance, which sealed a direct passage to the Prada Cup final.
"That was the goal and we made it," said Ainslie. "The boys have done a brilliant job. It is a great moment for the team because we have obviously had a tough build-up to this competition, so I am incredibly proud of everyone.
"That said, we know we still have a long way to go in this. While we have got ourselves in the Prada Cup final, it is just one step along the road. Now we have to focus on trying to win that, and after that, the Cup."
The Ineos Team UK operation – and principally the shore crew – have performed miracles over the last month.
A combination of scheduled upgrades, improvements and fixes have contributed to a significant performance swing, which Ainslie estimated at around 10 per cent.
Now with three weeks precious development time, could they make similar gains?
"That would be nice," grinned Ainslie. "If we could get that amount of gain then we would be serious contenders for the [America's] Cup."
"We obviously want to get everything we can out of the boat so I would say certainly there is more to come but I am not sure [it will be] the step that we made from the Christmas Race through to this Prada Cup. But it is important to keep those upgrades coming."
Ainslie described yesterday's race, which featured nine lead changes, as one of the best of his career.
"We had a few issues going into the pre-start and we were a bit on the back foot, missing one of the key settings for the power of the boat, so the guys did an awesome job getting us round the track in one piece."
Ainslie was confident the race umpires had made the correct decision to turn down a Luna Rossa protest during a dramatic final bow-stern close to the finish line, when the Italians claimed they had right of way.
"It was about as close as you want to get it," admitted Ainslie. "It was pretty close, but I think we were just across."
Ainslie also confirmed that Ineos Team UK wouldn't participate in the scheduled rematch today, due to the high winds forecast.
"We have decided we won't race [today]," said Ainslie. "As much as we would love to put on a good showcase, when you are racing these boats at over 20 knots there is a risk-reward there and the risk isn't worth it at this stage."
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.