Perhaps the biggest decisions of the America's Cup challenger final are being made before the boats hit the water each day off Bermuda.

The respective weather men of each team are expected to forecast what conditions will prevail on the Great Sound and, effectively, which foils should be used for the day's racing.

Emirates Team NZ helmsman Peter Burling hinted that his team may have got it wrong today ... but clearly not wrong enough to make a difference.

Both Team NZ and Artemis Racing (Sweden) reversed their foil preferences from yesterday, with the Kiwis opting for their light-wind configuration and the Swedes picking stronger breezes.


As luck would have it, the wind landed somewhere in between.

"It was probably a little windier than we thought it would be," admitted Burling at the post-race press conference. "But I think it's full credit to the whole team for backing the decision that had been made and getting on with the job.

"Artemis definitely had quite a different configuration to what we had today and it really changed our tactics, making sure we were in the game at the bottom mark and trying to chip away from there.

"We were really happy with the way we got back into all the races."

The most obviously difference between the set-ups today was off the start-line, where Burling has conceded an advantage to counterpart Nathan Outteridge in all six races so far.

Today, that contest within the race was probably more even, but Artemis' configuration provided much better straight-line speed, reaching 45 knots to the first mark in the opening race and never relinquishing that advantage.

Those conditions eased as the day wore on, dropping closer to what Team NZ had predicted.

"Obviously, our forecast was a bit different to Team New Zealand's," reflected Outteridge. "Going out there, it was gusting 15-16 knots and we were quite happy with the configuration.

"But on a day like today, where the weather is quite unstable, it can change quite quickly. The boat was going really nicely in the first race and we were able to hold to win that one.

"In the second race, It went a bit softer and you could see Team NZ had a click of extra pace on us upwind, so we had to go into aggressive mode."

While much has been made of Burling's apparent shortcomings off the start-line, he insisted that today was more about simply staying in contention and picking his opportunity to pass out on the course.

"Today, it wasn't so much about the starting, to be honest," he said. "Our main goal was just to get to the bottom mark in good shape and chip away from there.

"I think it was pretty clear that Artemis' configuration was really quick on that reach and I think we gave ourselves a pretty good opportunity on both the first and third starts.

"We were pretty happy with a fair few of the improvements we made, but today was more about generating opportunities upwind, where we were fast, and we were really pleased with how we could do that."

Team New Zealand now lead 4-2 in the first-to-five final format and need just one victory from tomorrow's three races to progress to the America's Cup match against Oracle Team USA.