After stepping off the water following Team New Zealand's dominant performance on the opening day of the America's Cup match, skipper Glenn Ashby warned "we've seen this movie before".

With painful memories of the 2013 Cup match still clearly etched in his mind, Ashby knows there could be plot twists around the corner.

So far his opposite, Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill, appears to be sticking to the same script from San Francisco.

Down 4-0 on the water, but 3-0 on the leaderboard, a more humble Spithill presented himself at the post-racing press conference today. He refused to hide from his team's poor showing on the water, instead delivering a full and frank assessment of where Oracle are at.

Advertisement

"I think it's pretty obvious these guys are faster and we need to make some serious changes," Spithill said.

"Clearly, we need to now put everything back on the table. I think these next five days will be the most important five days of the campaign.

"We've been here before, we've got five days to respond now and everything is up for grabs."

His performance was reminiscent of a press conference he held in San Francisco, after Oracle were forced to play their "postponement card" after Oracle found themselves 4-0 down after three days of racing.

Oracle used their postponement card, which was essentially an insurance policy for a team if they suffered gear breakage on the race course, to buy themselves some time to work out how to negate Emirates Team New Zealand's clear speed advantage early on the 34th Cup match.

Fronting the media after what was one of the great moments of theatre from the last regatta - Spithill and Oracle boss Russell Coutts talking animatedly inside one of the team's chase boats in between races - Spithill could have fibbed and claimed there was an issue with the boat. Instead the forthright Australian won respect for his candour.

"It's obvious we have to make some changes," he said.

"It's all on the table. There's enough time to make appendage changes, sail changes, we can do crew changes. We will go back and really look at everything.

"It's not over. As a team, we've come back from a lot of adversity. This doesn't worry us. We've been here before, and it's just a matter of getting back working again."

That press conference also spawned one of Spithill's now-famous lines - "mate, you can be a rooster one day and a feather duster the next".

The move to play their postponement card, which teams do not have the ability to do at this event in Bermuda, gave the US team 48 hours to regroup, and proved critical in the eventual result as it set in motion the beginnings of their comeback.

Tactician John Kostecki was replaced by British sailing great Ben Ainslie, and on the water the team immediately got to work trying to understand how they can mode the boat more efficiently to match the Kiwis superior speed.

This time around, Oracle have a comparatively lengthy five-day stretch to make changes. But the difference is, with many of the elements in the 50-ft America's Cup Class catamarans being one-design, the US team are limited in what changes they can make to the boat.

The other key difference is this time, Team NZ know what is coming. One of the key points that was identified in their own candid review of the team's failed 2013 campaign was that by the time Team NZ reached the Cup match, they had tapped out the potential of their boat.

Team NZ helmsman said Peter Burling said they will be using the five-day break before the next races to keep pushing for speed and performance gains.

"We know if we stand still these guys will be catching us," he said.

And we all know what Spithill will have to say if that happens.