Team New Zealand are defending their decision to omit helmsman Peter Burling from the Sportsman of the Year category at the upcoming Halberg Awards.
Burling, 26, was one of the heroes for Team New Zealand, as they surged to an emphatic 8-1 win to reclaim the America's Cup from Oracle Team USA in Bermuda earlier this year.
However, while the achievements of Team New Zealand have been nominated by Yachting New Zealand for the Team of the Year, Burling is a high profile absentee from the Sportsman category.
Speaking to 1 NEWS, Shore Team Co-ordinator Sean Regan spoke about the team-first mentality behind the decision.
"What we are, is New Zealand," he said.
"There's a special group of people, it's the contribution from designers, from shore crew, from administration staff that all go together to that."
"Pete and the other guys that sail on the boat get the most exposure, but we are very strong on the fact that we are Team New Zealand, and that's where it's at."