Sailing: New Zealand sit seventh after frustrating opening day of Spanish SailGP leg, Australia lead

New Zealand have struggled at the latest leg of the SailGP series, finishing the opening day in seventh place in Spain.

Sailing off the coast of Cadiz, the New Zealand team finished fifth and two sixths in the first day's three races of the regatta to have 10 points heading into the next day of racing.

New Zealand did themselves no favours, penalised in each of the first two races for crossing the start line early.

Australia leads the field after the opening two races with 19 points, with a second placed, fourth placed and another second finish for their day's work.

Jimmy Spithill's USA sit second with 18 points, with Denmark in third with 15, ahead of Sir Ben Ainslie's Great Britain in fourth, also on 15. 

Hosts Spain stunned with victory in the second race, joining Great Britain and USA as victors on day one, but couldn't repeat their performances to sit fifth after the first day.

Two more fleet races will be sailed on day two, with the top three teams to advance to the final.

Day one's racing also saw the introduction of the Women's Pathway Programme, seeing Erica Dawson join the New Zealand crew for the opening two races, before lighter winds meant a reduction from six members to four for the last race of the day.