United States driver Taylor Canfield has vowed to make the Abu Dhabi podium after an impressive performance on the first day of racing, which saw the Americans finish in 3rd.

The U.S. picked up a 9-2-3 race record across the first three fleet races to finish the day in 3rd behind New Zealand - but sits just two points off leader Spain heading into day two.

Season 4 // Taylor Canfield speaking to press from the Mixed Zone in Dubai

Speaking after racing, Canfield said the team was ‘progressing every day’ and paid tribute to the talent of wing trimmer Victor Diaz de Leon.

“I think that people are underestimating us and that we had a lot to learn as a new team, but it’s coming pretty quickly,” he said.

He acknowledged that the light airs of Abu Dhabi offered ‘an easier learning curve’, but stressed that ‘things are going well’ in the team’s progression.

Season 4 // Close up of USA driver Taylor Canfield in Abu Dhabi

Looking ahead to the second day of racing, Canfield vowed to make the three-boat, winner-takes-all Final. “The foot is on the throttle and we’re not going to back down now.”

It comes after the revamped U.S. team raised eyebrows on its first event by forcing a Black Flag on Emirates GBR with aggressive racing tactics on the start line of the fifth fleet race.

Season 4 // Taylor Canfield at Abu Dhabi pre-event press conference

Speaking at Abu Dhabi’s pre-event press conference, Canfield said: “We’re out there racing each other, we’re all out there win every race and to take the opportunity - the intention was not to take them out, the intention was to start on time.”

The Mubadala Abu Dhabi Sail Grand Prix presented by Abu Dhabi Sports Council will resume on January 14 at 2pm GST.

Starts November

Season 4 Grand Final