For Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker, his first foray in competitive multihull sailing has been a humbling experience, but also a valuable one.

With the next America's Cup in 2013 to be staged in high-tech wing-masted catamarans, Emirates Team New Zealand have shifted their focus to multihull sailing.

Their swift introduction came last weekend when Barker and his Team New Zealand crewmates Jeremy Lomas and Winston McFarlane, with Australian multihull specialist Darren Bundock, took part in the final round of the Extreme 40 series in Almeria, Spain.

From a results point of view Team New Zealand had a regatta they would rather forget, finishing last - 25 points from the next placegetter.

There were a couple of creditable race results, but for the most part Team New Zealand's inexperience in the Extreme 40 class was obvious.

For a skipper at the top of his game in monohulls, finding himself at the bottom of the heap in a new class could be a demoralising experience, but Barker said he was always realistic about to expect in Spain.

"It's been a very refreshing experience, completely different to anything I've raced before. There's certainly a lot of challenges. You know what you want to do, it's just executing it is another matter, which is really frustrating," he said.

When Team New Zealand lined up for the first start at Almeria, they had no real appreciation of what was required to race multihull boats successfully.

But after 27 races over four days, Barker said they now have a list "a mile long" of areas they need to work on in order to get to the top.

The team will spend the summer in New Zealand training and putting in practice what they have learned before entering any more regattas.

"I think it's a case of now going back in our own environment and practising those techniques and becoming more competent with our skills. We have an understanding of what is required now. If we keep doing more regattas it might be easy to become disheartened, so what we need now is to consolidate on what we've learnt."

Barker wants to get to a point where sailing catamarans becomes second nature to him. He said he spent too much time worrying about how to sail the boat, which left him with little time to consider tactics.

The team will switch back to Louis Vuitton Trophy mode, with the Dubai regatta starting mid-November.

If Team New Zealand decide to mount a challenge for the 2013 America's Cup, Dubai will probably be their last outing in monohulls for some time.