Team New Zealand's sailing coach Ray Davies has revealed Peter Burling and his crew had a honesty session immediately after today's racing.

Davies said the crew met onshore immediately after taking a 2-1 lead over Artemis after the first day of racing in the America's Cup challenger final in Bermuda.

"We will be coming home in two days time if we don't sort ourselves out," Davies told Newstalk ZB sports host Tony Veitch.

"The guys did a bloody good job to salvage the day today and we really have to do the hard yards and come out with a better plan."


In a sign of how high Team NZ sets the bar in its review sessions, Davies openly admitted the Kiwis were fortunate today and must address their pre-starts and error rate or risk Artemis running them down in the first-to-five-wins showdown.

"We'll take it but we didn't sail very well at times," Davies said.

"We've really got to take a good hard look at ourselves.

"We were making some fundamental errors which we can't do as the regatta gets to the pointy end.

"There are areas we really have to improve upon or we're not going to go all the way."

Burling and Team NZ's inability to command the pre-start is the most obvious issue facing the crew.

It's a lot easier if you're in front, there's no question about that," acknowledged Davies. "But first you have to get in front.

"We obviously did a really good job passing twice today but in all three of those races we were behind at mark one so we really made it hard for ourselves.


"A couple of the mistakes in the pre-start were pretty fundamental.

"We just got ourselves into awkward positions and then there were a couple of unforced errors in the pre-start as well."

Davies admitted Team's NZ's startling boat-speed was getting the team out of trouble but couldn't become a relying factor.

"We're fortunate in that we do have wheels," he said.

"We do have a fast boat and the guys are doing a blimming good job actually racing it around the course.

"It's not clear cut but it's so much easier once you're ahead at the start. I don't think we've ever been passed when we are ahead.


"The odds are very strongly in our favour then but we'd rather make life easier for ourselves and lead from the front.

"In a sense, it's nice to have these real tough races now because if we can sort our stuff out and do a better job at the start, we are going to be a real force."

Davies said the crew's calm demeanour was another advantage and that Team NZ has more speed to come.

"These guys just keep their composure really well, and that's an asset," he said.

"In between races, they come in cool, calm and collected. There's probably a bit more rage on the coach boat than their boat," he joked.

"Yes, there is more to come....there's more speed on the table for sure."