Team New Zealand continue to come under pressure for their poor starts after trailing Artemis off the startline in all three of their opening races of the Louis Vuitton challenger final today.
The Kiwi team took a 2-1 lead in the first-to-five series this morning, but they spent most of the day trailing the Swedish-flagged boat around the course. A penalty on Artemis for going over the boundary in the opening race helped Emirates Team New Zealand to notch up the first point of the day.
The Kiwi boat could not find a way past in the second, as Artemis tactician Iain Percy did an impressive job of shutting down any passing lanes for Team NZ.
Depending on which camp you sit in, Team NZ were either exceptionally lucky to have taken out the third race after Artemis skipper Nathan Outteridge slid overboard approaching the final top gate, or the incident only made a what would have been a narrow win to the Kiwis a lot more comfortable.
While the New Zealand boat has shown impressive pace through the regatta - even after last week's dramatic capsize - Peter Burling's inexperience at the helm and the lack of tactical input on the boat has often been seized upon by their rivals as an area of weakness.
Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill took great pleasure in listing the litany of errors Team NZ made in their races against the defender during the round robin, and today his Australian compatriot Outteridge also had a few digs.
Outteridge was quick to rub in his startline dominance over Burling, claiming it will be difficult this late in the game for the rookie helmsman to improve his starts.
"Our starting was spot-on today, and that is definitely something we're going to remember I think. I can't remember a day when we've been able to start so well like that," he said.
"You saw in race one we were foiling across the line, with Team NZ completely in our bad air, race two taking them off the course and in the third race being able to roll on the reach - that's really powerful going into tomorrow.
"A few mistakes crept in after that, but we can easily eradicate that. Getting better at starting at this point is quite a difficult thing to do."
Team NZ skipper Glenn Ashby acknowledged the team's starts were poor today, but insisted it is an area they can tidy up on.
"We could have done a lot better work on the starts today, we really made our life quite difficult. Artemis don't need too much of a gap and they can really make it tough around the track," said Ashby.
"We'll be debriefing our starting pretty heavily with what we did today."
After claiming his crew sailed "like a bucket of spanners" in the final day of the semifinals against British team Ben Ainslie Racing on Friday, Ashby was a bit more complimentary about his team's efforts around the track today.
"I think we actually sailed the boat reasonably well once we got off the startline. Our manoeuvres were generally pretty good and I think our course management was pretty good. The second race we just didn't have a chance to get around the Artemis guys."