Former America's Cup winning tactician Brad Butterworth has questioned the decision of foreign syndicates to wait until late 2020 to set up camp in Auckland ahead of the 2021 regatta.
While Team New Zealand has been putting their first AC75 foiling monohull through its paces on the Waitematā Harbour, the challenging teams will wait until August next year before moving their operations Down Under.
Speaking to Radio Sport's Matt Brown, Butterworth said Team New Zealand had already been given an advantage and suggested some of the challenging syndicates "should know better" than to leave it late.
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"I think the other teams haven't taken on the model that you use to win it. I think they should be down here sailing in the environment where they're actually going to have to win yacht races," he said.
"I think it's a good thing for Team New Zealand that no teams are here this year and are going to come late next year. They'll show up and it'll be a bit of a baptism by fire for them.
"They really should have based themselves here, done their sailing here and gotten on with it here."
For the past couple of months, Team New Zealand has been honing their craft on their first AC75 and looking at areas that need to be adjusted in the build of their second vessel.
While footage has shown they're getting a great handle on the vessel, they have had to odd issue including capsizing on Thursday while trying a manoeuvre.
"We were pushing the boat super hard around a few marks," Team New Zealand's Peter Burling said of the boat capsizing. "We ended up making a little mistake out of a jibe and rolled it over in some pretty light breeze.
"It's what these boats are designed to do and when you push the boundaries as hard as you can in practice it's going to happen at some stage. We were really happy with the way we got it back upright and just kept on sailing for the rest of the day."
While Team New Zealand have been flying over the waters in Auckland, INEOS Team UK, American Magic and Luna Rossa have been sailing their first vessels closer to home. Just one syndicate has yet to launch the first of their two allowed race vessels, with Stars and Stripes Team USA quiet about their progress.
A late entry, they have remained tight lipped about their progress. However, the syndicates must be on the starting line in Cagliari in March next year for the first leg of the America's Cup World Series, where they will race their AC75s for the first time.
Any team who fails to line up for all three World Series events in 2020 is ineligible to challenge for the America's Cup, and Butterworth suggested Stars and Stripes would not be among the contenders.
"To build those boats you have to order a set of foiling arms and everything that goes with it and they haven't," Butterworth said when asked about Stars and Stripes.
"I don't think they exist. I think it's just hot air."