While the race was officially won when Team New Zealand retired with the broken rig, things started going wrong for Team New Zealand before the five minute gun sounded as the foredeck crew struggled to get the jib up in time and Barker was 12 seconds late entering the starting box. The delay allowed Alinghi skipper Russell Coutts, who started at the pin, to dive low, cross in front, and claim the starboard advantage. The rest of the pre-start was decidedly dull as the two boats never came close together, both seemingly happy to avoid any close confrontations in the sloppy sea. Alinghi lead TNZ back toward the line on starboard and hit the middle of the line just as the gun sounded with Barker a few seconds late. Alinghi was able to build that lead up to 50 meters and hold that advantage for the first leg, rounding the first mark eight seconds ahead.