Team New Zealand is expecting a tougher season in Europe this year, as it prepares to start defending its TP52 fleet racing series title.
The Audi Medcup series opens in Cascais, Portugal next week, with Team New Zealand going there from the third round of the Louis Vuitton Trophy in Italy.
The skipper Dean Barker says after winning their debut season in the TP52 last year, the line-up of rivals looks stronger.
With America's Cup teams Origin, Luna Rossa, Artemis, All4One there along with Team New Zealand, the standard has lifted and Barker thinks there can only be tighter, closer racing this time.
Barker says until now the MedCup series has been won by a newly built design boat, but his team will use last year's.