America's Cup 2017: Opinion - Team New Zealand do their talking on the water

OPINION: And breathe.  A little easier anyway.

Team New Zealand has taken out both races on the opening day of the America's Cup Match in Bermuda, cancelling out the defenders' one race advantage for topping the Qualifiers and giving the Kiwis a 1-0 lead over Oracle Team USA.

And lets maybe give Peter Burling some credit. For all the pre-race build up focused on Jimmy Spithill's prowess in the start box and Burling's lack of experience, the Kiwis had the advantage off the line in both races.

In the first race Oracle's disadvantage was self-inflicted after Spithill crossed early, but in the second Burling positioned the NZ boat perfectly and had the Americans in his wake around the first mark, and for the rest of the race.

In fact the early start was the only time Oracle were in front in both races. It wasn't a flawless display from Burling and co - a bad gybe around the final mark in race one had flashbacks of the one second win over Artemis Racing in the challenger final.

Then a few sloppy manoeuvres and wind shifts in the defenders favour closed Oracle up to within touching distance around the fifth mark of race two.

The conditions definitely suited the Kiwis with the wind at the lower end of the range for sailing.

Maybe Oracle's decision to get involved with the challengers has backfired.

It was the first time a defender has ever raced with the challengers, but it meant the Americans had to design a boat for all conditions, rather than focus on when it really matters - the next couple of weeks.

That was a lesson Team NZ learned the hard way four years ago, when the conditions changed for the second week of the Cup Match.

And from what happened then we all know not to get ahead of ourselves, though the signs are encouraging.

Greg Pearson is a sailing correspondent for Newshub.