Kiwi yachting duo of Josh Junior and Andy Maloney go head-to-head for Olympic spot

Two of Team New Zealand's top sailors are in a unique predicament, as they also vie for gold at next year's Olympics.

Josh Junior and Andy Maloney are essentially a team in the Finn class, but only one of them will represent New Zealand in Tokyo.

The two have shared America's Cup success and ever since, they've trained and travelled together.

"It's bloody good," Junior told Newshub. "When we're overseas, he cooks me eggs every morning."

But there's no chance they'll be able to share the dais in Toyko next year, with only one athlete per nation allowed to compete.

"There's plenty of banter about who's better in training or who beats each other more," said Maloney.

The duo are putting in hours and hours of work, all so just one of them has the best shot at Olympic gold.

"Whoever does better at the time deserves to go and will hopefully bring home that gold medal," said Junior.

The rivalry could see him miss out on his shot at redemption, after placing seventh in Rio.

"A lot of the memories are still fresh in my mind," he said. "It was a bit of a disappointment for me, but it's also given me the drive to try and succeed again."

And if successful, it'll come at the expense of Maloney's Olympic dream, after he agonisingly missed out on competing in Rio to Sam Meech in the Laser class.

"I needed a new start in the Olympic scene," said Maloney. "I'd definitely done my time in the Laser, and I needed something new and motivating."

Junior appears to have the edge, after his fourth-place finish to Maloney's 10th at the world champs last year.

But with a full year of racing ahead, the duo knows Olympic selection early next year will be hard earned.

"You can't leave your mate behind," added Junior. "Whoever gets selected, the other one will be there and help them all the way to the Games."