27 Jul 2015

Team NZ well placed to win

1:28 pm on 27 July 2015

Team New Zealand trail British sailor Ben Ainslie's team by just one point following the opening day of action at the first America's Cup World Series regatta in Portsmouth.

Team New Zealand sailing at the America's Cup World Series.

Team New Zealand sailing at the America's Cup World Series. Photo: Photosport

The New Zealanders posted a win and a third place finish in the day's two races.

New Zealand's rookie helmsman, Olympian Peter Burling, was pleased with the result.

"It was a great day for us to be able to put together a good start and a run in both races and be in the lead at the bottom mark in both races," he said.

"We're pretty green in these foiling boats so we're happy to come out of the day in the shape we're in."

Ben Ainslie, the man who is leading the British challenge for the America's Cup, holds a narrow lead after the first day of racing at the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series in Portsmouth.

Ainslie led his Land Rover BAR team to a win and a second place finish in the two races held.

The man Burling replaced at Team New Zealand, Dean Barker, is now the CEO and skipper of SoftBank Team Japan.

Barker says the new team, sailing together for the first time in Portsmouth, is undergoing a learning process.

Today they finished on equal points for fourth place with Groupama Team France.

"We're working hard to improve but it takes a certain amount of time," Barker said.

"These other teams have been doing a lot of sailing together in different boats, so we have to work hard on making improvement and eliminating mistakes to get closer to the front of the fleet."

Oracle Team USA, the defending champion, had a challenging day, ending the afternoon in third position, with second and fourth place scores.

Artemis Racing struggled to a fifth and sixth place

Racing continues tomorrow with double points on offer for the two races.