Even as they celebrate America's Cup victory in Bermuda, Team New Zealand have revealed their challenge could so easily have ended in disaster, after suffering irreparable damage to their foils.

The Kiwis sensationally lost control of their ACC boat during the challenger semifinals against Ben Ainslie Racing, but were able to regroup with the benefit of a light-wind postponement of racing the next day.

Today, Emirates Team NZ members were reflecting on another ongoing crisis, dating back to their challenger final match against Artemis Racing, when they were caught with the wrong foils for the conditions.

"That was quite a big day for us, as well, because the guys looked after the boat and let it loose when they could and sailed it really intelligently," said Team NZ boss Grant Dalton.

"What I can tell you now, as a result of that day, we found some pretty serious structural issues with the daggerboards, because they had been taken so far out of range that they were basically letting go.


"We've lived with this now since that day or since we found it, and they've been tested every night with ultrasound - the guy's been basically living here, doing it every night - and it has been growing.

"So every time we do a tack or a gybe or whatever, I've just been going 'hold on, hold on' and they have."

Trimmer Blair Tuke confirmed the concerns over boat fitness, but was philosophical about the possible consequences.

"You've got to sail the boats to the absolute max and if you don't, you're not going to win," he said.

"For me, one of the best days of the whole campagin was that day against Artemis, when we were completely out of range and there was a massive chance we would break those boards on that day.

"Andy [Maloney] and I managed to get through without doing it - I was super proud of Andy - and what we were able to do that day to get a couple of wins was pretty awesome.

"That was certainly one of the days that made this campaign for me."

Dalton admitted his team probably would have lost races, if they had been forced back out on the water after their capsize.

"The wing was pretty stuffed - it took us nine days to fix the wing.

"We could have raced the next day, but we probably would got beaten, because we didn't have all our fairings done."