Team New Zealand's America's Cup winning skipper Glenn Ashby had no intention of leaving his yachting "family" as preparations got underway for the 2021 campaign.

The Australian sailor led the New Zealand team to a 7-1 win over Oracle Team USA last year to reclaim the Auld Mug, but a possible Australian challenge in 2021 had some questioning if he would stay with the Kiwi crew.

Speaking ahead of the Laureus Awards later this month at which Team New Zealand were nominated for World Team of the Year last month, Ashby put any speculation to rest and said he was looking forward to helping the team in their next campaign.

"Our roots go pretty deep here and, spending the last seven or eight years here in New Zealand, we've got a lot of ties here.


"It'd be fantastic to see an Australian team... [but] I think the group of people and sort of family that we have here is pretty strong.

"It's a strong bond and it's one of those ones at the end of the day your family's your family and your friends are your friends. To be able to combine those together with your sports is something pretty special and we're certainly looking forward to defending here in New Zealand."

Team New Zealand were currently in the process of assessing their needs and looking at talent for their crew as required by how the campaign looks to shape up.

Ashby said the Kiwi culture was an important part of what they did, but also noted that the search would likely take their gaze overseas.

"You'd be silly not to look overseas," Ashby admitted.

Team New Zealand chief operating officer Kevin Shoebridge added to Ashby's comments, saying that until they have an idea of what their needs were for the next campaign, they wouldn't be rushing into any decisions regarding personnel.

"These teams, we've spent a huge amount of effort and time together especially over the last seven years and to finally be successful together after some of the tough times the team's been through in the last couple of years is a testament to how strong the team is.

"It's always about the team and it's really just about getting the best people you can [for the next campaign].

"That was one of the things we did well last time - we didn't rush to putting people in areas before the requirement was there. The next six months we'll work out the requirements of the people on the boat and then it'll be easier to put people in positions."

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