Wrestling the America's Cup away from Team New Zealand is going to be a tall order, according to a couple of rival skippers.
On Saturday, the Kiwis won the world series event and were primed to back that up by claiming the Christmas Cup on Sunday, until light winds saw the regatta abandoned before a race was completed.
Over the three days, the cup holder lost just once in six races, and looked particularly strong in lighter wind conditions, which are expected to be into play when they are back in the water to defend the Auld Mug in March.
The one team that had success against Peter Burling's was American Magic, helmed by Kiwi Dean Barker.
On Thursday, 'Patriot' forced Team NZ into numerous mistakes during their first meeting, turning around a late penalty to drag race the holders down the final leg and cross the line first.
But skipper Terry Hutchinson says there is a huge task awaiting whoever emerges as the challenger for the Cup early next year.
"With the defender, it’s a pretty nice package, and they don’t really show any weaknesses,” he says.
"Of the three challengers, whoever gets to them is going to have their hands full."
Luna Rossa's Max Sirena agrees, and believes Team NZ holds a significant advantage over the chasing fleet in light winds.
"For sure the Kiwis have an edge, upwind particularly," he says.
"There's a certain wind range where they are pretty quick … they are able to mode in quite well in 13-14 knots of true wind speed."
The Americans appear to be the favourites heading into January's Prada Cup, with the Italians hot on their heels.
Hutchinson says it's comforting to know they have a quick boat, but there is plenty of work to be done in the next month.
"I think we’re happy that Patriot as a team are in the hunt," Hutchinson said.
"We can see that the boat is competitive, but we can also see all the work that we have to do.
"The opportunities in front of us are positive, and we’re happy with how everything has gone.
"I’m expecting big gains out of Patriot, I’m not going to quantify it with seconds around the race track, but I know we have great things happening to the boat."
As for the hosts, they won't race another competitive match until the America's Cup finale in March, but helmsman Burling is confident they will make the most of their 11 weeks racing themselves.
"We’re really happy with where we have checked in, we’ve learned a lot," Burling says.
"They [challengers] don’t get to check in on us either
"We got a good sense of what to prioritise for the next few months and that really excites us with the next steps with this new boat."