The Spirit of New Zealand arrived in Wellington with 40 young people onboard to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
"We kind of got ourselves into a great spot, and then pulled the trigger too early."
New Zealand finished strongly on day one in Australia.
The Kiwi team are without their leader for the weekend, as they look to overtake Australia on the leaderboard.
Nathan Outteridge will step in to replace Peter Burling in Sydney this weekend.
The victory cuts Australia's lead atop the championship standings to just six points.
The Kiwi trail Spain by a point after the opening three races.
Christian Beck's supermaxi edged Andoo Comanche by just 51 seconds to win the iconic race.
SailGP's chief executive says he'd be happy to host the event every year at Lyttelton Harbour.