Just as they seemed about to slide out of contention, Emirates Team NZ have roared back with an overwhelming win in race four of their America's Cup series against Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli.
Entering the second day of racing, the rivals were locked at 1-1, after splitting their opening encounters on Wednesday.
But in lighter winds, the Italians edged ahead with a 37-second victory in race three, gaining the upper hand off the start-line and extending their advantage to 38 seconds at the fifth mark.
The result seemed to rock the Kiwis onto their heels, but they quickly regrouped and turned the tables, beating their opponents home by more than a minute to restore parity in the match.
Te Rehutai seemed to have better speed off the start-line and was able to dictate terms through the early stages, as their lead stretched to 750m on the water.
The result marked a rare light-wind defeat for the Italians, but also continued a trend, with each of the four races so far won by the team entering the start box first from port.
"That was a really good race for us," reflects Team NZ flight controller Blair Tuke. "We just got off the start-line slightly better than the race before.
"I think our boats was going really well, even in the first race, but we couldn't managed to get clear and they kept on top of us, and we didn't have much fresh air.
"In the second race, we got in front and it's a lot easier without the wind shadows. You're free to look up the course and pick the shifts on your terms a bit more.
"It was a really good bounce back for the guys."
After back-to-back wins, Luna Rossa seemed to have cracked the Kiwis, defying pre-match predictions that the Cup holders had a far superior boat.
The challengers have simply proven those forecasts wrong and the contest may now come down to who makes the biggest mistake.
Join us at 4:15pm Saturday for live updates of the America's Cup between Team NZ and Luna Rossa