Peter Burling is ready to embrace the pressure.
From Wednesday onwards, with the start of the 36th America's Cup match against Luna Rossa, Burling will have the focus of the nation on his shoulders.
It might be a team sport, with 11 men sailing Te Rehutai and a whole legion responsible for its performance, but Burling is at the apex.
As helmsman his every move will be scrutinised, every decision debated. Even his media comments will be analysed intensely.
In terms of national focus, it's arguably the biggest home sporting spectacle since either the 2015 Cricket World Cup or the Rugby World Cup (2011).
But the 30-year-old rarely seems flustered – on or off the water – and has the happy knack of improving when the heat is on.
"I think I quite enjoy the pressure," Burling told the Herald. "I've been competing on pretty big stages for quite a while, whether it is through the Olympic environment [or America's Cup]."
"It's something you get used to and I think pressure is where I get the best out of myself. Rio [in 2016] was probably one of my fonder memories of that, where we carried the flag into the Olympic stadium and then put on one of my best ever performances, with one of my good mates Blair [Tuke]."
That was a definite high-water mark. Burling and Tuke bore the added emotional load of being flagbearers, but then destroyed their opposition in the 49er regatta, with one of the biggest winning margins in Olympic sailing history.
Bermuda was another example, as Burling improved across the event and never looked overawed, despite his relative youth and inexperience.
But this will be another step up in intensity, on home waters, in front of a nation desperate to retain the Auld Mug, where the equation has changed from hope to expectation.
"It's something that we take as a positive," said Burling. "When you are a sportsperson you want to be challenged, you want to have people excited by what you do. It's been pretty incredible to see how many Kiwis have been out on the water or watching the events on TV - an incredible spectacle."
Burling also has a different role this time round. Where previously he was the new boy among many seasoned veterans in the syndicate, across this cycle he has been further up the hierarchy, with a greater say in operational matters, and is skipper as well as helmsman.
"Our team is a lot bigger this time round but yes, for myself, I am taking a lot more of a leadership role in the team," agreed Burling. "But I think one thing our team does incredibly well is distributing round a lot of responsibilities.
"Even with how we are sailing, there are a lot of guys talking on board. Probably the two guys that don't get talked about enough are Josh Junior, who was the  New Zealand sailor of the year and won the Finn world championships [last year] and Andy Maloney, who are both pretty incredible yachties.
"Within our group we have got a really good mix of more traditional match racers, people like Ray Davies that have been involved in campaigns for a long time and we've got Hamish Wilcox, who has helped Blair and myself with a lot over the years.
"It's pretty cool that a lot of people in the team we have known for a long time and we have got some strong bonds within the team. We are all excited by the challenge to come."
The performance of the crews in this Cup can be studied like never before, with a dazzling array of camera angles and graphics, monitors measuring heartrates and energy outputs as well as microphones recording every utterance.
It can be intimidating – and is not something that most elite sportspeople have to face in their arenas – but it's part of the job.
"We definitely try to work on all sides of our performance, whether it is the mental side, or the communication, the performance or what you are doing on the water," says Burling.
"You can't really hide in these environments; you have got a lot of cameras on you, [you are] miked up the whole time so if you are not doing what you should be doing you get found out pretty quick.
"In saying that we are also probably our biggest critics. We can tell generally what we should be looking for in the data to try and fix something and generally when you are actually going back over things yourself you probably get the most out of a debrief.
"But [also] a lot of the designers that were designing the equipment we are using now are now monitoring how we are using it and getting the most out of it. It's quite a cool environment we have got in the team, between the shore team, the designers and the sailing team, to come together as a group and make the most out of the tools we have got."
A successful defence will see Burling join an exclusive group of helmsmen who have piloted back to back Cup triumphs, with only Russell Coutts (1995, 2000, 2003) and Jimmy Spithill (2010, 2013) achieving that in the modern era.
But individual records are the last thing on Burling's agenda, who is always quick to emphasise the collective approach enshrined in Team New Zealand in every interview.
But as the pride of Tauranga Yacht Club heads out on Te Rehutai on Wednesday afternoon, ahead of the first America's Cup match on the Hauraki gulf in 18 years, what will be going through his mind?
"The one thing I really like to go into an event with is knowing that you have given your all and you are going to the start line in the best possible position you could," says Burling. "As a team, we have really picked up that kind of ethos, of making sure we are going on the start line with the best possible chance of keeping the America's Cup in New Zealand that we can."