America's Cup's lack of equality motivating the next generation of New Zealand's sailing stars

The America's Cup showcased New Zealand's sailing prowess, but at the same time, it highlighted the sport's inequality.

Team New Zealand's sailing and shore team were dominated by males, with only four women involved in total.

But that is something the sport is hoping to change in the future and Liv Mackay has a chance to be the face of that change as one of two females in New Zealand's Sail GP team this year.

"I think a big part of it is role models," Mackay tells Newshub. 

"When you don't really see it, it's hard to picture it especially when you're 10,11, 12 years old.

"It goes both ways -  it comes from us pushing to learn the information and get the experience on the boats, as well as from the top down giving us the chance which they are doing so that's great.

In the history of the Cup, there has only been a spattering of women with hands-on roles on board. The most famous being the virtually all-female crew onboard Mighty Mary in 1995.

Team New Zealand had four in their latest campaign, but there is always room for more.

"A lot of that is to do with the pathway not really being there and not being showcased, so girls not seeing the opportunities in our sport.

Because girls don't see the opportunities out there, the sport suffers a huge drop in numbers after the age of 18.

New Zealand's governing body is currently surveying to understand why.

Obviously, right now there are no girls on the boat in the America's Cup and we can all see that, but there are definitely career opportunities for females, so there are people high up," says women's sailing manager for Yachting NZ, Rosie Chapman.

It's all intending to keep them in the boat, and maybe the biggest boats of them all

"Getting the girls onboard we're stronger than you think we can do it," says Mia Barker, daughter of former Team NZ skipper Dean Barker.

"Not only the strength roles, but there are also roles like helming and tactician that girls can be involved in and events like these can help push girls to kind of strive for those roles.

Maybe Barker is the future of the next generation of heart Kiwi sailors, and a peek into the future of the America's Cup.

Watch the video above for more