But in the last race, when they also made the better start, the loss of Outteridge overboard threw the crew and they were unable to get back up to speed and conceded defeat.
In this photo provided by America's Cup Event Authority, Sweden's Artemis Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand compete during America's Cup challenger semifinals on the Great Sound in Bermuda on Saturday, June 10, 2017. Just as I was crossing, we straightened the turn, which had me sliding down the aft beam.
Under pressure from the Kiwis towards the end of race three, Artemis skipper Nathan Outteridge was sprinting to the portside wheel when he lost his footing and slid off the boat.
They then made a decision to sail their boat home slowly, rather than continue racing, and went down 2-1 in the best-of-nine series.
"We're happy to have battled back into that last race and it was shaping up to be a very close top mark before Nathan went off", Burling said.
Three more races are scheduled for Sunday.
Outteridge had outsmarted his long-standing rival Peter Burling at the start and the crew of six elite sailors managed to fend off New Zealand's repeated attempts to pass them.
We had our heads down making sure we were getting everything out of our boat we could to make sure we got past and then realised they had slowed down, and didnt really realise why until we sailed past them about a minute or so later.. "So you just get unlucky sometimes and I think it shows how hard everyone is pushing the boats". "I've always said I love racing and I'd like to keep racing".
Team New Zealand had just pulled ahead of Artemis when Outteridge took a swim.
As predicted, the series is developing into an incredibly tight fight, and with light winds forecast for tomorrow both crews will face a whole new range of challenges.