The bizarre and intricate world of weight distribution at Team NZ: Finding a balance between salads and pies

When it comes to getting everything right on an America's Cup boat, everything has to be accurate down to the tiniest detail - even the weight of the sailors on it.

Your playlist will load after this ad

Glenn Ashby said crew aboard Te Rehutai treat their bodyweight like a "resource" which can be traded between them. Source: 1 NEWS

In fact, the weigh-in process for Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa this Thursday is considered one of the bigger moments off-water before the final series kicks off.

"The crew weigh in is something that takes its toll," Team NZ skipper Glenn Ashby told 1 NEWS today.

"Crews are always trying to be the max weight and there's a max weight that we can be but to get to that, everyone's got to dip down to their 'fighting weight' if you like.

"The boys will be having salads for dinner in a couple of night's time."

The average weight allowed for a sailor on board an AC75 this year is 90kg, with the overall team limit for all 11 on board having to be between 960kg to 990kg.

What that means, though, is that some members can be heavier or lighter than their teammates, allowing each person to fill a crucial role needed on the boat where more muscle or agility may be needed.

"The weight is very much shared around," Ashby said.

"We've got guys that are over 100kg and we've got guys in the 70s like myself. It's a balance and you have to allocate that resource."

Most of the resource goes to the "big engines" of the boat, the grinders, who Ashby said can go through an impressive amount of food to maintain their output.

"With the amount of effort and the amount of sailing we've been doing, it's actually quite hard for the guys to keep at weight — they're burning a lot, particularly the grinding guys — so they've got to keep refueling all the time.

"When you see the piles of food that those guys have on their plates, it's pretty impressive what they get through."

In the mean time, though, it's strict dieting and ensuring they hit their marks for Thursday, although temptation can be a difficult thing to control too.

"Whilst you'd like to go to the pie shop and have a pie, it's not the time. But hopefully in a few weeks time we'll be able to go to the pub and enjoy that and have a beer as well."

If all goes to plan, it'll certainly taste sweet.