Season 3 champions Australia has finished at the top of the leaderboard in Taranto’s practice racing ahead of official racing.

The Aussies picked up a 1-6-2 fleet race record across the three practice races, which saw multiple teams suffer technical problems on the water.

It comes after Slingsby said in a pre-event press conference that the Aussies were ‘frustrated’ not to have won an event in Season 4 so far, despite making it into all three event finals.

Season 4// Australia underway in practice ahead in Taranto

“We’ve had three events where we’ve had a really good shot at it and we haven’t delivered,” he said. However, he said the ‘team’s morale and atmosphere’ is ‘at an all time high’ heading into Taranto.

It comes as Aussie strategist Nina Curtis rejoins the racing line-up in Taranto after returning from maternity leave.

Season 4 // Nina Curtis returns as Australia strategist in Taranto

France and ROCKWOOL Denmark rounded out the top three after practice racing, with both teams level on 22 points - just 2 behind Australia.

France finished the day with a 7-1-3 race record, while the Danish picked up consistent 4-3-4 finishes.

Season 4 // ROCKWOOL Denmark in Taranto practice racing

Elsewhere, Canada and Emirates GBR were plagued with technical issues - with Canada having to withdraw from the first race and the British having to sit out the last race entirely.

Season 4 // ROCKWOOL Denmark, Canada and the USA in practice racing

It was also an improved showing for Jimmy Spithill’s United States, which finished the day with a race win and finished fourth on the overall standings.

But the slate is wiped clean heading into Race Day 1, which kicks off at 13:30 CEST on September 23.