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America's Cup recap: Teams begin official practices — but who's on top early?

The intensity of the America's Cup has gone up another level this afternoon, with official practices underway out on the Waitematā Harbour.

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Kimberlee Downs was out on the water watching all of today’s action. Source: 1 NEWS

Three of the four syndicates got some precious time in practising their starts ahead of next week's pre-Christmas regatta but two stood out more than the others — Team New Zealand and American Magic.

The Kiwis were slick this afternoon with their manoeuvres and got the added advantage of training against two opponents after inviting the Americans to their practice session before joining Luna Rossa for theirs.

Read more:
Team NZ kick off first official America's Cup practice, instantly face off with Americans

Things weren't so positive for INEOS Team UK, though, who after making their way out to practise needed towing to get back for an unknown reason.

So who takes the top spot in the early power ranking?

After watching all afternoon, 1 NEWS Sport reporter Kimberlee Downs and sailing expert Peter Lester give the edge to the Kiwis but both warn that should be taken with a grain of salt as it's unknown just how much — or how little — the crews are showing out on the water.

Watch the video above for Downs' full wrap of the afternoon.