STRATHFIELDSAYE'S Glenn Ashby is just one victory from a second America's Cup triumph.
Ashby has played a key role as trimmer for Emirates Team New Zealand in its duel with defending champion Oracle Team USA in the 34th running of the yachting classic.
Team NZ has won eight races and is riding high going into Friday's two races off San Francisco.
A dual winner of the Bendigo Advertiser WIN Television Sports Star of the Year, which is now sponsored by Bendigo Bank, Ashby switched from Oracle Team USA, which won the Cup in 2010, to join Team NZ in its challenge for America's Cup glory.
The world championship-winning run by Ashby earned the Sports Star award in 1996-97 and 1997-98.
He was a dual recipient of the Cyril Michelsen Trust Fund award in the 1994-95 Sports Star awards.
There are hundreds of adjustments Ashby makes to the 40m sail aboard Team NZ.
New Zealand darted past Oracle to snatch a lead over the starting line in Wednesday's second race before getting word from officials that the match was cancelled because of strong winds.
Team NZ skipper Dean Barker said there was no certainty they would have won the race.
The 15-second victory by the Barker-skipped New Zealand in race 11 continued the humbling of billionaire yachtsman Larry Ellison and the team he is counting on to keep possession of the Cup.
New Zealand beat the Americans across the start and established a slight lead that lasted into the pivotal upwind third leg, where the rivals engaged in an intense tacking duel during which the Kiwis managed to fend off the hosts.
New Zealand has dominated the best-of-17 series.
Oracle, penalised two points before the start for pre-regatta violations, must win eight times in a row to deny the Kiwis the Cup.
New Zealand has the momentum.
The Jimmy Spithill-skipped Oracle has scrambled to make changes to its boat after being repeatedly out-sailed by the Kiwis.
The America's Cup has been described as chess on rocket ships by many watching the action unfold on San Franciso Bay.
Ashby is a mastermind in many of Team New Zealand's moves.
A world champion on 14 occasions across three classes, Ashby teamed with Darren Bundock to win silver in the Tornado catamaran class at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Bundock is racing with Oracle in this America's Cup campaign.
A lot of Ashby's sailing career was spent on Lake Eppalock.
He and wife Melissa and daughters Larni and Holly have been living in Auckland for more than three years in the Cup lead-up.