12 Jun 2017

Room for improvement for Team NZ, coach says

9:07 am on 12 June 2017

Team New Zealand could be heading home within days if it doesn't solve fundamental errors in its races, the team's head coach says.

No caption

Team New Zealand won two of the three races in Bermuda this morning. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"We have really got to have a good hard look at ourselves - we are really making some fundamental errors which we can't do as the regatta gets to the pointy end," Rod Davies told Radio Sport in a phone interview.

"We'll be coming home in two days time if we don't sort ourselves out," he said.

Davies has not been accessible to media in Bermuda, and his blunt comments contrast with the generally upbeat tone taken by helmsman Peter Burling during organised media appearances.

The comments were made after a day in which Team New Zealand trailed its Challenger Finals rival Artemis three times at the crucial first mark after the startline.

Team New Zealand's 2-1 scoreline yesterday in the first-to-five contest might have been helped by Artemis skipper and helmsman Nathan Outteridge going overboard, as Team New Zealand was about to attack, and today Artemis retiring in the second race, after Team New Zealand got past.

Davies identified starting, and communication between the sailors on board, as areas for improvement.

"In a couple of races [mistakes] at the pre-start were pretty fundamental, in the lighter conditions in the first race we just got ourselves in a really awkward position," Davies said in the interview.

But he also had praise for the crew, most of whom were in their mid-to-late 20s.

"They've kept their composure really well, in between races they come in really cool, calm and collected. There's probably more rage on the chase boat," where he and team bosses Grant Dalton and Kevin Shoebridge follow the action.

When RNZ asked Peter Burling about the starting record, he did concede it wasn't perfect.

"The start is something we are working on. It definitely felt like it was a couple of pretty small decisions that cost ourselves on the start," Burling said.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.