Van Velthooven’s getting torso in shape for the traditional grind of 2021 America’s Cup regatta.

Team New Zealand cyclor Simon van Velthooven is focusing on his upper body strength as he aspires to continue his America's Cup career at the 2021 regatta.

The 28-year-old Olympic and Commonwealth cycling medallist was central to the success of Team New Zealand's radical decision to replace traditional grinding with cycle-grinding as they pedalled their way to victory earlier this year in Bermuda.

It was the second time cyclists have been used in the America's Cup (Pelle Petterson's 12m boat "Sverige" had bicycle grinding stations below deck in 1977) and the Kiwi cyclors delivered a unique boost to the power-hungry 50-foot foiling catamaran.

In releasing their design plans for their next Cup boat earlier this week, however, Team New Zealand indicated a shift back to a more conventional style of sailing, with design coordinator Dan Bernasconi saying it's likely cyclors will be ditched in favour of traditional grinding.


That was reinforced by syndicate boss Grant Dalton, who said this week the design change by nature changed the requirements on board.

"The weight limit to the total overall crew last time was a bit low, and that's why the guys were small bionic babies," Dalton said. "This time, we'll lift the weight limit so that it allows bigger guys that — just by inference — bring more power to the boat."

And on top of that, cyclors are likely to be written out of the rules altogether, with a specific rule against cyclors set to be introduced for the 2021 regatta in Auckland.

Although van Velthooven couldn't comment on his future in the team, he indicated a strong willingness to adapt and stay aboard the syndicate.

"I'll be doing my best to fit the mould of the next boat ... I'm training as if it's all going ahead but nothing will be decided until mid-next year."

The Kiwis innovation was a key factor in their stunning 7-1 win over American rivals, Oracle, with the cyclors reportedly producing 40 per cent more power than regular grinding yet Velthooven believed cycling had little impact on speed.

"Powering the boat has nothing to do with hydrodynamic design of the foils and the aerodynamics of the boat and the sails, so cycling has no impact on that.

"The last boat needed a lot of power so the cycling system fitted that mould. Every America's Cup is slightly different and for the 35th Cup the cycling system worked perfectly with that design. For the next Cup in Auckland, I think it will be suited to the arm grinding for the winches."


As a result, Van Velthooven will change his training to be more upper body-focused.