Team New Zealand crew member Blair Tuke is confident they have the speed to match Oracle Team USA in the America's Cup and believes mistakes will decide the regatta.
Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle clashed twice during challenger qualifying series with the American holders coming out of top in both occasions. But Tuke doesn't think that means Oracle have a faster boat, telling the Radio Sport Breakfast that Team New Zealand were probably quicker but just made costly errors in both defeats.
The Team New Zealand cyclist/trimmer, who won a gold medal alongside helmsman Peter Burling in the 49er class as last year's Olympics, is confident Team New Zealand can match Jimmy Spithill's boat on the water however he expects Oracle will have made some gains.
"From the racing we've had against Oracle already, they've been really close. Probably what handed them the wins was a couple of mistakes on our behalf," Tuke told the Radio Sport Breakfast.
"The boat speed was even or better than theirs which was nice. But they're going to get faster and hopefully we've made some jumps forward. Certainly the racing is going to be very close with wins going either way and whoever sails best of those days will take the races which is pretty exciting I think."
Team New Zealand can also take confidence out of the fact Oracle have been beaten in Bermuda, twice losing to Artemis who Team New Zealand defeated 5-2 in the Louis Vuitton challenger series final.
The main question mark over Team New Zealand's performance in the Louis Vuitton challenger series has been around the start of each race which could team their weak link in the America's Cup final series. Spithill is regarded a match-racing expert and Tuke says there will be a lot of focus on the pre-starts ahead on Sunday morning's first two races.
"The whole way through we've been making gains to make the boat go faster and that will keep going. But the big thing for as has been the racing. Learning where you can position yourself on the course - what the tact loss is and what the gybe loss is and everything around the starting which we're continuing to learn on and get better."
"That's really been a big one for us and we're going to have to keep getting better at that this week if we're going to have any chance against the Oracle guys this weekend."