America's Cup 2021: Emirates Team NZ confident their speed will beat cool, calm Jimmy Spithill

Those spying on Emirates Team New Zealand's training on the Waitemata Harbour this past week say they have a faster boat than Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli

If that's the case, the America's Cup may come down to who can get a better start.

You don't have to be a spy to notice just how cool Jimmy Spithill's heart rate has been in racing so far, so how do the Kiwis measure up? 

Speeding at almost 100 kph over water, no wonder Team NZ have confidence in their speed. 

"We may feel like we're the faster boat at the moment, but Luna Rossa can always develop and get quicker at the same time," Team NZ grinder Joe Sullivan says.  

The focus turns to getting match-racing fit and that means a cool, calm head and heart. 

Luna Rosa helmsman Spithill certainly has the cool heart rate. At one point during the Prada Cup challenger final, his rate was just 66 beats per minute, as the team was flying at high speeds during racing.

At the same time, co-helmsman Francesco Bruni heart was beating at almost twice that rate on 118 beats per minute. 

Fitness trainer Abe Dyer says Spithill's active heart rate is not even normal for an athlete.

"Elite athletes will have an elevated heart rate, because their adrenalin is real high," Dyer says. "They're in the moment, they've got to make fast decisions on the move.

"But then there's that next tier up - the Tom Brady's, the Tiger Woods - that can handle the pressure at those particular times. He's one of them."

When Sullivan - one of Team NZ's pedestal grinders - is told of Spithill's stats, he's shocked.  

"Yeah, I think Peter Burling will be the same, but the guys on the pedestal will be pretty much into the hundreds, over 150," Sullivan says. 

The physical exertion the helmsman are under is incredible too, but Sullivan is a Olympic rowing gold medallist and his come-from-behind win at London 2012 has been used during team chats, as a lesson in perseverance. 

"You can't count yourself out, until you've crossed the line pretty much," Sullivan says. 

The America's Cup is just a week away and each practice session becomes crucial. 

Team NZ have trained by themselves ever since the pre-Christmas regatta, using chase boats to put themselves under pressure during pre-starts. 

After three months on the sideline watching their opponents go toe-to-toe, the team are excited to face a real opponent. 

"Each week, we're getting better and better," Team NZ sailing coach Ray Davies says. "Now we get to put it all to the test in the real deal."

Until the America's Cup gets underway, no-one knows who really is faster, cooler and better. 

Watch the video for the full story, and join us on March 6 for live updates of the America's Cup match between Team NZ and Luna Rossa