America's Cup 2021: Team New Zealand give behind-the-scenes look aboard top-secret yacht

Team New Zealand's formula of slick teamwork, innovation and cutting-edge technology will be the key to them retaining the America's Cup next year.

For the first time ever they allowed someone from outside the team onboard - and as Newshub reporter Tom McRae found out it's a ride like no other.

They say no one has ever fallen overboard - yet.

This is Te Aihe - Team New Zealand's foiling monohull - designed to be the fastest yacht ever.

Even in the lightest of breezes you wonder how it's never happened. McRae says the g-forces it creates are "absolutely insane".

This is the first time they've allowed anyone not with the team onboard. There aren't too many yachts you need a helmet, safety vest and glasses, and are forced to sign a safety waiver - but the AC75 is one of them.

Team boss Grant Dalton does his best to reassure McRae.

"Being a monohull it can't pitch-pole so it can put its nose in but it can't flip over," he says.

"If they're trapped for any reason they've got air,  knives to cut themselves out and also just training."

So what could possibly go wrong. But in fact, the first thing you notice once onboard is despite the noise and speed, everyone is calm. The team know their roles inside out.

"These guys are like a Formula 1 pit crew - but instead of being in the pit they're onboard," McRae says.

The second thing is just how smooth the ride is. It's a calm day, just 7 knots of breeze, right at the lower end for racing.

But the conversion rate is incredible. We were up and foiling in an instant, doing well over 30 knots - that's around 60km/h.

The three other teams are keeping a close eye. All have spy boats on the water.

There's a lot of very complicated equipment down in the cockpit that Newshub isn't allowed to film because it's sensitive intellectual property that is critical to the team's success.

Team New Zealand says five months out from the Cup they're in a better place than they expected and COVID-19 has actually helped them.

"We've had a really good winter, the new boat is coming along nicely, there's a good vibe in the team, having the Olympics postponed have been a benefit," Dalton says.

"Of course we've got the most Olympians in the team than any other team so it's helped our progress quite a lot."

One thing is guaranteed - racing will be spectacular.

Watch the video above.