Team New Zealand are still undecided over whether they will take part in organised practice racing sessions against their America's Cup rivals in Bermuda next month.

A controversial late rule change earlier this month granted teams the ability to race in an organised fashion at the Cup venue in Bermuda during nominated windows. The first racing window was held over the weekend, with all five Bermuda-based teams taking part.

Emirates Team New Zealand, who voted against the retrospective rule change, planned their training schedule and departure plans to Bermuda around the original rules.

The Kiwi team will miss the next two practice racing sessions, which have been slated for April 6-7 and 10-12, as they will be in the process of packing down their boat and transiting to Bermuda.


If they choose, Team NZ should be ready by the April 24-28 session, but skipper Glenn Ashby said the team are still weighing up the pros and cons of taking part.

"We'll have to get our boat set-up and get organised so we will make that call closer to the time. It's hard to tell at this stage, we'll only just be getting on the water up there [in the last racing window]," Ashby said before the team left the dock for one of their final training hit-outs in Auckland.

"I think the other teams will certainly be keen to get a gauge on us as soon as we arrive, and we haven't sailed against another boat for our whole campaign in testing, so for us it could be as much of a learning experience as it will be for everyone else."

Regardless of whether Team NZ choose to take part in any formal warm-up races or not, Ashby said it will be tough to avoid lining up against their rivals before the regatta gets under way on May 26. He expects other teams will appear alongside them as soon as they hit the water in Bermuda.

"I don't think we'll be able to hide up there. We're all sailing around in a pretty small area, so I think everyone is going to be in each other's pockets," he said.

"Ultimately, lining up against the other guys [before the regatta] will be something we have to do whether we like it or not, so it will just be choosing the time when we get out there and take that on."

With a host of Team NZ personnel already on the ground in Bermuda to prepare the base for the team's arrival next month, helmsman Peter Burling said the Kiwi syndicate were able to keep a close eye on the racing last week.

"It's been really interesting to see those guys race. I think we have a pretty good understanding of how they're going - every team seems to have their strengths and weaknesses, as do we, and this has helped us get a better gauge on where the trade-offs have been made for each team," said Burling.

The two returning syndicates from 2013 - Oracle Team USA and Artemis Racing, who split their matches against each other - looked in the best shape during practice racing. Oracle won nine of their 11 races, while Swedish team Artemis were seven from 10.

British hope, Land Rover BAR, appear off the pace two months out from the opening race. Ben Ainslie's team won just two of their 10 races, with their straightline speed looking especially sluggish. Ainslie saw the racing as "a really useful few days sailing ... just ahead of our next design upgrade window."

Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill insisted it was still early days in the development race and his team would be foolish to get comfortable based on last week's results.

"There are design differences and speed differences and it would be easy to read too much into what we've seen the last few days. The fact is, I think everyone only has one set of foils at this point, so in lighter winds everyone was compromised somewhat."

Team NZ will begin the disassembly process of their race boat later this week and package up the 50-ft catamaran for a flight to Bermuda. The boat is due to leave Auckland on April 9.