Luna Rossa have committed beyond the next America's Cup cycle – and have a long-term aim of replicating the Team New Zealand model in Europe.
The Italians pushed the defenders to the limit last month, in one of the closest Cup matches across the long history of the event.
They took three of the first six races - and could have easily won at least two more of the ten sailed.
Given where they started from, after missing the Bermuda cycle, they are not too far behind Team New Zealand and are working hard to close the gap.
Most of the existing team are already on retainers, with team boss Max Sirena confirmed for another cycle.
They are also close to locking in helmsmen Jimmy Spithill and Francesco Bruni, who performed so well in Auckland.
Perhaps most importantly, Luna Rossa benefactor Patrizio Bertelli has rubberstamped funding for campaigns beyond the 37th edition.
"We love to have a guy like that on the top," Sirena told Yachting New Zealand's Broad Reach Radio podcast. "He's super committed and I'm happy to say he's committed, not just for one campaign but for a longer period, which is important to get continuity and to create the right momentum for Luna Rossa."
"I will be with Luna Rossa again," added Sirena. "I had to give something back to Patrizio because he gave me the opportunity to run the team. I had to do that for him but [also] for the guys that had been with me in the last three and a half years."
Sirena hopes to retain most of the existing team, including the marquee men.
"I spoke individually with all the team members after the last race," said Sirena. "Obviously, I don't have everyone under contract, but I put most of the guys on retainers and [they are] ready to start working as soon as we have more details about the future.
"I'm talking quite a lot with Jimmy and Checco [Bruni] - now they're both in Bermuda and racing there [in Sail GP]. And yes, the idea is to confirm both of them."
Sirena is waiting for confirmation of the venue and details for the 37th edition. There are several options on the table, but Sirena is betting on a 2024 regatta in Auckland.
"No one really know where it's going to be," said Sirena. "But I'm struggling to see the Cup away from New Zealand - I don't think it will happen. Everyone will do the best they can to try to have the Cup.
"This is my personal opinion, but I know Grant [Dalton]. Even if he's a tough guy he is a straight guy. He loves New Zealand and he will try to do as much as he can to [have] the Cup here."
Sirena also dismisses the prospect of a one-off Deed of Gift match next year, saying that "no one would benefit from that".
The Cup veteran expects more challengers at the next regatta, beyond the trio that competed in Auckland.
"We know Alinghi is keen to be back, we know there [are] a few other potential teams," said Sirena. "Everyone is waiting for the new protocol to understand what you can really do. And when the Cup is going to be because obviously if it's a Deed of Gift match it will kill those potential teams."
Regardless of the uncertainty, Sirena and Bertelli are pressing ahead with plans to create a Team New Zealand model in Italy.
Sirena was part of the Kiwi syndicate for the Bermuda campaign in 2017, offering valuable insight into the strengths of the Team New Zealand machine.
Along with the skills and experience of the key personnel, Sirena feels it's the layers of vertical integration that add to the potency.
"The good thing [here] is that you create around the team, outside the team, the companies, suppliers, universities and industry support. [It's] a kind of massive community which is pushing as much as they can to achieve the goal, winning or defending the gap.
"That is hard to replicate in any other country, and that is the reason why I spoke many times with Patrizio and said, if we want to try to be close to Team New Zealand, we need to build something like that in Italy.
"You need to create the momentum and environment around the team, which is supporting the team 100 per cent, then obviously you need to find the right people.
"Money is not just enough to win the Cup, you need to create something unique and different. I'm not saying we are close, but we are on the right way."
The wheels are in motion, with Luna Rossa's talent identification scheme for young Italian sailors started ahead of this Cup set to be broadened and expanded.
Barring a random turn of events, Sirena expects to be back in Auckland with his Luna Rossa team in July or August 2023.