America's Cup 2017: 'Aotearoa' almost back to 100 percent after seven days of repairs

Emirates Team New Zealand returned to the water of Bermuda's Great Sound today as it builds towards the first race of the America's Cup Match against Oracle Team USA on Sunday morning (NZT).

The sailors earned a day off yesterday after wrapping up the Challenger Final over Artemis Racing, though the shore crew were hard at work in the sheds. The result was the return of the Kiwis' 'A' wing, which was badly damaged when the boat pitch poled in the Challenger Semi-finals last week.

Coupled with damage to its back-up wing suffered on the same day as the capsize, Team NZ sailed through the series against Artemis with a slightly patched together configuration, though the Kiwis still comfortably beat the Swedes in the best of nine race series 5-2.

"It's all back together. They guys have done an unbelievable job" said Team NZ's On Water Operations Manager Chris Salthouse.

"The guys had to rebuild the flaps from scratch. They've put bits and pieces in and it's as good as new.  It's like a new one. These guys have just been working 24/7, it's been unbelievable."

The hard work's been appreciated by the sailing team, who will need all the weapons in their arsenal firing against Oracle.

"Six or seven days ago we were upside down with the thing in pieces" says wing trimmer and skipper Glenn Ashby.

"Getting back out there with our 'A' wing was a great. It certainly feels really nice from a user's perspective.

"Still a lot of things to test over the next two or three days so we've got a full program right the way up until we're racing. But we have to keep pushing hard, we know that we're going to need absolutely everything over the next couple of weekends to be in the hunt, and we're working very hard to make sure we're going to have our full 'A' game and our racing hats on when that time comes."

While Team NZ trained, Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill took a subtle shot on social media with an Instagram post of an American eagle attacking a Kiwi.