Emirates Team New Zealand's America's Cup victory saw them named the 2017 supreme winners at the Halberg Awards ceremony in Auckland last night.
Team tactician Ray Davies and chief operating officer Kevin Shoebridge wielded the trophy backstage afterwards.
Davies was calculating where they "could put the rum".
Shoebridge said while the Auld Mug sits in the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, this one could go "back at the base".
"Tonight's been fantastic to bring back memories from Bermuda and what a huge mountain it was to climb over the last four years," he said.
"Two years ago I wouldn't have thought we were in a position to achieve what we did."
"This trophy epitomises what we believe in," Davies added.
The corporate syndicate were eligible for the title because they represent the RNZYS. That qualified them as a New Zealand entity under the rules.
The Herald audience's thirst for stories on their progress proved a gauge.
The mixture of beating a billionaire in Oracle's Larry Ellison, sailing in an exotic location and the 'Kiwi' cyclor ingenuity also proved compelling for the judges.
"The America's Cup has this technology-innovation side which is a good story that a lot of people are interested in," Shoebridge said.
"New Zealand goes up against a big software company like Oracle and designs our own stuff to compete against them."
The Grant Dalton-led lineup was named the team of the year before being elevated to the top gong at a function which raised funds for the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation.
Four of the 67 overall recipients, dating back to the event's origin in 1949, have been from sailing.
In 1969, Chris Bouzaid won after skippering Rainbow II to victory in the One Ton Cup off Heligoland in the North Sea.
Sir Peter Blake won in 1990 as the helmsman of the triumphant Steinlager II in the Whitbread round-the-world race.
Team New Zealand also won the America's Cup and the supreme award in 1995.
An unprecedented four medals at a single world championships saw Lisa Carrington take the sportswoman title. The 2016 supreme award winner triumphed in the K1 200m, K2 500m (with Caitlin Ryan) and secured silver in the K1 500m and bronze in the K4 500m.
Gordon Walker was recognised as the top coach for a consecutive year on the back of those achievements.
"Gordy does so much work behind the scenes making sure I reach my potential, so the burden on his shoulders is big," Carrington said.
"I think it's a special thing for him because he doesn't get medals around his neck like I do."
Shot putter Tom Walsh got the nod in the sportsman category as the first New Zealand male to win an outdoor world track and field championship title in 34 years of the event. He finished with a throw of 22.03m in London, but had to increase his distance across the competition to keep the field at bay.
Walsh was now focusing on a busy couple of months defending his world indoor title and trying to triumph at the Commonwealth Games.
"I'm injury-free with no niggles, and stronger and faster doing PBs [personal bests] in training. I've got good horsepower, now I just need to line it up."
Sophie Pascoe's six world records at the national short-course swimming championships saw her win the disabled sportsperson title for a fifth time.
Cyclist Ellesse Andrews' performance in the individual pursuit at the junior track cycling world championships secured the emerging talent award. She set a junior world record in the qualifying rounds before winning overall.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen took the leadership award; Morrie Chandler received the lifetime achievement award for services to motorsport; and Rob Waddell was the latest inductee into the New Zealand sports hall of fame.
Full list of winners and finalists for the 55th Halberg Awards:
Supreme Halberg Award winner: Emirates Team NZ (Yachting)
Finalists: Lisa Carrington (Canoe Racing), Tom Walsh (Athletics), Sophie Pascoe (Para swimming).
High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year winner: Lisa Carrington (Canoe Racing)
Finalists: Lydia Ko (Golf), Portia Woodman (Rugby Union), Sarah Goss (Rugby Union).
Sportsman of the Year winner: Tom Walsh (Athletics)
Finalists: Beauden Barrett (Rugby Union), Brendon Hartley (Motorsport), Ross Taylor (Cricket).
Halberg Disabled Sportsperson of the Year: Sophie Pascoe (Para swimming)
Finalists: Corey Peters (Para alpine skiing), Holly Robinson (Para athletics), William Stedman (Para athletics).
Team of the Year winner: Emirates Team NZ (Yachting)
Finalists: Black Ferns (Rugby Union), Black Sox (Softball), Women's K2 – Lisa Carrington & Caitlin Ryan (Canoe Racing).
Buddle Findlay Coach of the Year winner: Gordon Walker (Canoe Racing)
Finalists: Gary Hay (Rowing), Glenn Moore (Rugby Union), Mark Sorenson (Softball).
Emerging Talent winner: Ellesse Andrews (Cycling)
Finalists: Josh Armit (Yachting), Matthew MacDonald (Rowing), Nico Porteous (Freeski).
New Zealand's Favourite Sporting Moment winner: Mitchell Hunt (Rugby Union)
Finalists: Martin Guptill (Cricket), Mitchell Hunt (Rugby Union), Michael Venus (Tennis), Black Ferns Sevens (Rugby Union), Emirates Team New Zealand (Yachting), Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber (Motorsport), Black Sox (Softball), Tom Walsh (Athletics), Black Ferns (Rugby Union), Lisa Carrington (Canoe Racing), Ross Taylor (Cricket).
Sport New Zealand Leadership Award winner: Steve Hansen (Rugby)
Lifetime Achievement Award winner: Morrie Chandler (Motorsport)
Hall of Fame inductee: Rob Waddell (Rowing)
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