Team New Zealand took time out from their testing programme to rub shoulders with the next generation of America's Cup sailors at the optimist nationals today.

A fleet of more than 250 youth sailors have been competing on the waters off Kohimarama over the past five days, in what is the biggest event on the calendar for the youngsters.

The optimist class - a small, singlehanded dinghy - is considered the breeding ground for the country's top young sailing talent.

The Team NZ crew, including past national optimist champs Ray Davies and Peter Burling, were there to greet the fleet as they came off the water on the final day of the regatta, helping the competitors haul their boats out and de-rig.


Davies said being down at the event brought memories of his youth sailing days.

"You know the excitement that's there as a kid when you compete at big events like this. This would have been on their radar all year round and they train for it. There would have been a lot of anxiety for them this morning and a lot of comraderie when it's all over," said Davies.

"There's no wind for us to go sailing today so it's a great opportunity for us to come down as a sailing team and help show our support for a great event."

Archie Cropley - one of a sizeable contingent of Australian sailors that travelled over for the event - took out the regatta over his Woollahra sailing club teammate Lachie Brewer, while Murrays Bay sailing club's Henry Wilson was the top-ranked local competitor in third.