Tom Slingsby has skippered Team Australia to finishes of second, fourth and second to take the lead after the first day of the Spain SailGP.
Slingsby, looking to bounce back from a last-place finish in Saint-Tropez, took a 19-18 lead over Jimmy Spithill’s Team USA, with Nicolai Sehested’s Denmark SailGP Team another four points back.
The rest of the field is Great Britain, Spain, Japan, New Zealand and France.
The final two races will be on Sunday, with the top three teams advancing to the podium race.
The Aussies narrowly lost to Sir Ben Ainslie’s British team in the opening race.
Spain won the second race in front of their home crowd, and the US won the third race
“To sum up today’s racing, it was a happy one to get through,” said Slingsby, an Olympic gold medallist and a former America’s Cup champion who steered the Aussies to the inaugural championship and $1 million ($A1.4m), winner-take-all prize in 2019.
“It’s like a minefield out there. We said we don’t want a shocker, it’s a real ‘danger day.’
“We knew it was going to be light breeze conditions and then we’ve got heavier breeze tomorrow.
“To come away with three consistent results, we’re stoked.
“Doesn’t really matter that we’re sitting on top of the leaderboard, we just didn’t want to have a bad result and yeah, we’re happy.”
Saturday was the first time women sailed on each crew as part of the Women’s Pathway Program – with Olympian Nina Curtis on board for Australia.