Team New Zealand appear unfazed by Oracle Team USA's move to mimic the Kiwi team's radical cycle grinding set-up.

Reports surfaced this week that the two-time America's Cup winners were trialling a pedal-powered pump on their boat - no doubt inspired by Emirates Team New Zealand's decision to plump for leg power over the traditional grinding pedestals.

At this stage Oracle have installed just one cycle grinding station, which is located in the same cockpit as helmsman Jimmy Spithill, directly behind the two-time America's Cup winning skipper.

Tactician Tom Slingsby is expected to provide the pedal power, with the two handle-grinding pedestals remaining in place.


Team NZ trimmer Blair Tuke, who forms part of the Kiwi peloton on the water, said from what he had seen of Oracle's set-up he expected the pedal-grinding platform would only be used in certain manoeuvres or situations around the race track.

"They have one of the guys stationed at the back there to input power when they need it," said Tuke.

"It's certainly not to the extent we're doing, but they've obviously seen some benefits of what we're doing and tried to copy a little bit."

With just two weeks to go before the opening round of racing starts in Bermuda, Team NZ sailing coach Ray Davies said Oracle did not have a lot of time to develop the new system for the initial phase of racing, but they may be able to get it up and running before the America's Cup match proper.

However, Davies said it would be a big gamble on the defender's part to go down that path. .

"They've got the means to completely redesign their boat if they wanted to, and they have a little bit more time than the other competitors, so who knows where they'll end up. It's certainly quite late in the piece to be [making major changes] and it's not just how you power the boat, it's what you do with those crew that is the key to the cycling side of things."