The America's Cup Match remains on a knife edge as testing conditions and the entry into the starting box continue to make a lottery of the battle for the Auld Mug.
Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa are deadlocked at 2-2 in the first-to-seven series following a superb fightback from the Kiwi boat in the second race off Waiheke Island on Friday.
Peter Burling capitalised on an early splashdown by the Italian challenger to level the score with an emphatic 63-second victory after being outsailed in light breeze in the first race.
Te Rehutai's win has been described as a "thrashing" and a "big relief", while the Herald's Cup reporter Michael Burgess predicts it could turn the regatta into a Cup classic.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Spithill insists Luna Rossa are still the underdog, despite their unexpected edge upwind while co-helmsman Francesco Bruni has revealed what led to the mistake that cost them the last race.
More winds near the 6.5kn lower limit is predicted for Saturday, with race five set to start at 4.15pm and race six an hour later.
Here's how the day's action unfolded:
All you need to know ahead of day two of the America's Cup match between Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa:
Day two of the America's Cup match is here. Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa square off in races three and four on Auckland's Waitematā Harbour, in what is turning out to be a closer series than many initially expected.
Regatta Director Iain Murray announced this morning that day two will be raced on Course E.
However, conditions aren't looking ideal for racing as low winds of 2-7 knots are expected, with the lower limit for America's Cup racing being 6.5 knots.
Murray said there was a "high percentage" chance that there will be no racing today, with similar forecasts expected for the next few days.
The Italian syndicate took out the second of two races on the opening day, following on from the defender's win in the first tussle. Both teams are level on one win apiece in the best of 13-race series.
Day one saw plenty of action, and plenty of promise from the challenger.
They employed an aggressive tactic in race one, trying to draw a penalty against Team NZ, but it didn't come off. It was a bold manoeuvre, and put the challengers on the back foot immediately.
The defender built a handy lead and controlled the race for the remainder, winning by 31 seconds.
In race two Luna Rossa again showed plenty of fight, and this time it paid off with victory by seven seconds to square the ledger. They bettered the Kiwis in the start box, and raced out to a handy lead which extended over the first four marks – enough to ultimately cross the line in first.
Team New Zealand did preview a possible pass occurring as the race progressed and they ate into the lead. But they ran out of course as Luna Rossa held on for a slim win.
Team NZ helmsman Peter Burling admitted his team was "a bit rusty", but pleased to come away with at least one win.
"It felt like if there had been another lap we might have had a good chance," he said post race.
Understandably, Luna Rossa co-helmsman Jimmy Spithill was enthused by their performance.
"We just followed our plan, kept it calm and the boat did the rest of the work."
Over the past few weeks, there have been suggestions that Te Rehutai has been hitting never-before-seen speeds in training - but former America's Cup sailor and commentator Nathan Outteridge called reports of Team NZ's speed edge "greatly exaggerated".
"These boats are pretty evenly matched. Luna Rossa look like they're making small gains every time they tack. With these numbers ... there's nothing in it but every time they manoeuvre, they're making their gains," Outteridge said.
Colleague Stephen McIvor agreed, saying "everybody who suggested Te Rehutai was a quicker boat might just be eating their words right now".
Once again a mass of spectators are expected to congregate on the water to watch the action unfold, but those on land are still barred from attending the race village with Auckland currently at Covid-19 alert level 2.
That however could change today. Cabinet met yesterday to reassess the city's alert level status, and will make an announcement at midday.
Race one is scheduled to get underway at 4:15pm with the second to follow at 5:15. Like day one, racing will occur either on race course A, offshore from Takapuna in Auckland's North Shore, or race course E, east of the city near Maraetai.
Officials say both have been chosen as they're the least likely to attract crowds.
The America's Match is a best of 13 series, with the winner being crowned champions and awarded the Auld Mug. The racing window for each race day will be around 4pm-6pm, with the first race of each day scheduled for 4.15pm.
Mar 12: Race 3 and 4
Mar 13: Race 5 and 6
Mar 14: Race 7 and 8
Mar 15: Race 9* and 10*
Mar 16: Race 11* and 12*
Mar 17: Race 13*
Team New Zealand - $1.45
Luna Rossa - $2.60
Overall winner of the America's Cup:
Team New Zealand - $1.37
Luna Rossa - $2.80
How to watch and stream:
The Herald will have live updates on nzherald.co.nz/sport with AUT's sailing professor Mark Orams, while you can listen to live commentary on Newstalk ZB, Gold AM and iHeartRadio.
Heading into the Cup racing?
• Give yourself plenty of time and think about catching a ferry, train or bus to watch the cup.
• Make sure your AT HOP card is in your pocket. It's the best way to ride.
• Don't forget to scan QR codes with the NZ COVID Tracer app when on public transport and entering the America's Cup village.
• For more ways to enjoy race day, visit at.govt.nz/americascup.