Hype continues to build for the America’s Cup with the regatta between Luna Rossa and defenders Team New Zealand now just three days away.
There’s been plenty of speculation leading into the finals about speed, tactics and more from either boat but one man who's more likely to have an accurate read on the situation than many is sailing great Rod Davis.
Davis, an America’s Cup sailor and coach, has been involved in every campaign since 1977 and, coincidentally, for the past five regattas has worked with either the Italians or the Kiwis.
From those experiences and relationships, Davis told 1 NEWS he has a fair idea of how the camps are feeling.
“They're all in a pressure cooker and the heats up high and the pressure's on,” Davis said.
“That's an interesting scenario because nobody really works well under pressure but some people work better than others.”
Davis said when it comes to Jimmy Spithill (Luna Rossa) and Peter Burling (Team NZ), both cope equally well with pressure though so there’s no advantage to be gained there.
Instead, he believes it’ll come down to crews playing to their strengths.
In that regard, Davis said the game plan for the Italians is simple.
“Try and force these boats to tack and gybe and do all the things that they've been doing for the last 20 races and Team NZ hasn't been doing,” he said.
“Their big advantage is in-fighting, boat interaction and making those quick last second decisions of whether they tack underneath or whether we bluff, and they've done 20 races of that, so they're ready for that.”
In other words, close-contact match racing – the kind that Spithill infamously loves and thrives in.
For Team NZ, Davis expects the complete opposite.
“They will try and just keep ‘em at bay, let their boat speed work for ‘em and go from there and common belief is they do have a boat speed edge.”
Fans will know more on Wednesday, but even then he says Kiwi supporters shouldn't set their expectations too high.
“For Team NZ, 1-1 out of the first day would probably be a pretty darn nice score.”