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Team NZ fifth

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 11/09/2016

Team New Zealand remain third in the America's Cup world series and still confident of overall success despite a modest return in the penultimate round in France.

The Kiwi syndicate were fifth, sixth and second in the three double-points races in Toulon on Sunday, leaving them fifth in the six-boat regatta.

A second day of light-air sailing resulted in more inconsistency from the Peter Burling-helmed crew, who were second, second and sixth on Saturday.

Small mistakes were punished, with Burling lamenting his team's need to complete too many manoeuvres.

"To be honest in the first two races, we didn't sail all that well," Burling said.

"We bounced back in the last race to get a second which went a small way to salvaging an otherwise pretty tough day for us."

Artemis Racing of Sweden won three of the six races to win the regatta from the Japanese syndicate. Those teams are fifth and fourth respectively overall, highlighting the fickle nature of series which is sailed in AC45 catamarans.

An incident in the final race entailed series leaders British BAR colliding with Team NZ and incurring a penalty.

Former All Blacks great Dan Carter was guest on board the British boat and skipper Ben Ainslie said he could detect a grin on his passenger's face following the collision.

The mishap came two days after another World Cup-winning former All Black, Ma'a Nonu, was involved in a training crash while a guest on board Team NZ.

Skipper Glenn Ashby says Team NZ will be motivated to improve in the ninth and final round in Fukuoka in November.

They have closed to within three points of second-placed Team USA and are within 17 of the British leaders.

"We're still in touch with the lead and with a good performance in Japan, who knows what can happen."

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