The Black Foils sit fourth on the event leaderboard after a fast and furious opening day of the Apex Bermuda Sail Grand Prix. The Kiwis are tied on points (22) with Rockwool Denmark in third. Australia leads with 28 points, while Canada is second with 23.

Australia wasted no time proving why they’re the three-time SailGP champions - bouncing back from a disastrous nine season point penalty in Christchurch to lead the day. Commenting on the crew’s comeback, driver Tom Slingsby joked, “Maybe we should crash into marks more often.”

Bermuda Sail Grand Prix | Season 4 | New Zealand | Racing

In each of the day’s three fleet races, New Zealand appeared to struggle at the start, but showed their usual Kiwi grit and skill, executing critical manoeuvres to find clear air and make gains through the fleet, finishing third, fourth and fourth in the day’s three fleet races.

Driver Peter Burling said: “We were trying a few different things to get off the line today. Some didn’t quite go to plan but all in all happy with how today went and plenty to review tonight. To be in contact with the top of the leaderboard and get three good results gives us a nice build up to tomorrow.”

Flight controller Andy Maloney said: “We had a day of fighting in the pack and chipping away but we managed to fight through the fleet in all three races. The team did a great job of calling those tactics when we were in the back, then when we found those good lanes, we took advantage of the boat speed.”

Notably absent from today’s action on the Great Sound was the recently-acquired U.S. SailGP Team. The team was ruled out of the event after suffering a dramatic capsize in practice on Friday - the cause of which has since been revealed as user error.

In an issued statement earlier in the day, team CEO Mike Buckley said: “Unfortunately our race weekend is now over after yesterday’s high-speed crash during practice racing, and while thankfully our athletes are all ok, there was significant damage to the F50. Unfortunately it is not repairable in time for us to get back on the water for racing here in Bermuda. We are extremely disappointed. We will learn from this and are looking forward to being back on the water in Halifax.”

With racing back on tomorrow, Maloney said: “It was beautiful out there today - about 10-15 knots, high speed configuration and plenty of good speed. Sunday is looking a little lighter so we’ll likely be on the light-air boards, but looking forward to getting out there, getting dialled, and another great day of racing.”

Championship Sunday begins tomorrow Sunday 5 May at 2pm local time (Monday 5am NZT), live and on-demand on ThreeNow.