The America's Cup and the start of the SailGP season are just over a month apart, but Peter Burling and Blair Tuke will be playing vital roles in both competitions.
• target="_blank"> America's Cup 2021: Stars + Stripes rejected in bid to use Team New Zealand boat
• America's Cup 2021: Stars + Stripes looking to sail Team New Zealand's 'Te Aihe' in challenger series - report
• America's Cup 2021: Challengers 'running scared' after reports of Stars + Stripes' appeal to use Team New Zealand's boat
• America's Cup: American Magic is first challenger to sail in New Zealand
Already America's Cup, Olympic Games and Ocean Race veterans, the pair will lead the first New Zealand challenge in the season-styled event created by fellow Kiwi Sir Russell Coutts and American Larry Ellison.
Burling and Tuke will be busy with Team New Zealand commitments ahead of their defence of the America's Cup in early March and the Olympic Games later in the year.
"At this stage we're fully committed to giving our best shot to winning a gold medal for New Zealand next year," Tuke said.
"Sitting here today I think we would've finished racing about three days ago in Tokyo, so obviously it's all been flipped around but it's something we're still very committed to, we've always loved representing our country at the Olympic Games.
"Yes, it's busy, but we've put a lot of time into the thought of how it can work and we're confident we can reach all of our goals with the America's Cup, the Olympics and sailing this team into the championship."
The SailGP season starts in San Francisco about a month after the completion of the America's Cup, but the pair will be able to focus their efforts on the Auld Mug for the most part. In SailGP, all teams sail the same vessel, leaving the sailing itself as the difference-maker on the water.
"We're pretty confident we can get the right people around us to build the business up; to get the partners and sponsors on board.
"For us, the real-time commitment comes after the America's Cup."
Burling and Tuke will sail as helmsman and flight controller respectively on the 50-foot catamaran for SailGP, but will also be the team chief executives.
"The racing is some of the best in the world. It's turning into one of our premier sailing events," Tuke said.
"For us, it's just that high performance environment it creates. Year-round racing at a consistently high level on some of the best harbours in the world. The appeal was right up there.
"To get the opportunity to get our own team, a Kiwi-flagged team with a fern on the boat, it's a pretty proud moment."
The pair will have to put a team together, but with a wealth of talent in the country they believed they would be able to put together a strong challenge with some of the country's top male and female sailors.
"Professional sailing needs more females in the sport and that's something we think and we know that SailGP as a league has got some good things in the pipeline to try make that happen."
It won't be the only New Zealand team in a major competition searching for talent, with Bianca Cook assembling a Kiwi challenge for the next edition of the Ocean Race, which begins in October 2022. While Burling and Tuke themselves have competed in previous editions of the Ocean Race, they don't believe there will be a crossover in trying to attracted sailors to their team given the drastically different styles of competitions.
"It's one of those things, we're lucky to have a deep talent pool in sailing from all different of disciplines," Tuke said. "As we build into this, we'll know what different skillsets are needed to best perform on the F50, but I don't think there will be a massive crossover between the sort of sailors for the Ocean Race and the F50."
The New Zealand challenge will be the eighth crew to join SailGP for their second season, with team from Australia, Denmark, France, Japan, Spain, Great Britain and the United States also lining up.
Key dates on 2021 sailing calendar (NZ time)
America's Cup - Auckland, New Zealand. March 6-21
SailGP leg 1 - San Francisco, USA. April 18-19
SailGP leg 2 - New York, USA. June 5-6
Olympic Games - Tokyo, Japan. July 23 - August 8
• Five more SailGP events will be run in the 2021-22 season, however dates and locations are yet to be confirmed.