SailGP: Frustrating season continues for Peter Burling-led New Zealand, with three lackluster results in opening day in Sydney

New Zealand's fading hopes in SailGP have dimmed further after an uncompetitive opening day of the latest regatta in Sydney, Australia.

Skippered by Peter Burling, the Kiwi boat recorded two fifths and an eighth, dropping to sixth overall after a memorable day for Spain.

New Zealand needs to muster two podiums on the final day of fleet racing Saturday to have any chance of contesting the final - contested by the top three teams over the weekend - something the crew hasn't achieved all season.

The opening day featured a scary crash when the Sir Ben Ainslee skippered Great Britain smashed into Nathan Outteridge's Japan during the pre-start of race three causing major damage to both boats with neither able to complete the race.

Both crews remain in the hunt for the podium race however after solid days with the Brits recording a second and a fourth while Japan won race two.

Ainslee admitted fault saying he was focused on the American boat when the collision took place.

"I had no idea they were there. It was certainly our mistake," he said.

Outteridge - Team New Zealand's latest recruit for their America's Cup defence in 2024 said their prospect for racing on Saturday looks slim, calling Ainslee "reckless".

 “I can't imagine sailing tomorrow. It’s definitely ruined our boat and any chance of winning this event," he said.

But it was the Spanish who stood out on day one with Kiwi Phil Robertson at the helm.

Lying sixth overall at the start of racing, the Spanish scored a first, second and third to lift their hopes of making the finale following the final round in San Francisco next month.

The home crew Australia, led by Ton Slingsby won the final race of the day to keep their podium race prospects alive.

Sydney SailGP standings after three races

Spain 21
Australia, USA 16
Denmark 14
Great Britain 12
Japan 10
New Zealand 9 
France 7