Sam Meech feels like he's not far off making it all click but realises he needs some top results today to keep pace with the leaders in the Laser class at the Tokyo Olympics.
The 30-year-old was 19th and eighth on Monday and sits 17th overall after three of the 10 qualifying races.
Finland's Kaarle Tapper leads, with Tonci Stipanovic of Croatia third and Cypriot Pavlos Kontides in third.
But everyone in the field except Kontides has a drop in double digits, meaning big moves can still be made on the leaderboard.
Meech knows he needs to lay down a handful of good ones in their three races tomorrow to get right back in the mix but doesn't think much would need to change.
He was leading midway through the third race but was on the wrong side of a wind shift and dropped back to 14th at the top mark for the final time before worming his way through the field in the 15-knot winds to finish eighth.
"It was pretty painful," he says about Monday's racing.
"The starts are going really well, the mark roundings have been pretty good. I feel like I’m doing the technical things really well but just not feeling it when it comes to the wind shifts.
"In the second one I was going really well, especially around the first lap. I was like, 'oh, this should be pretty easy' but then I made a right turn at the bottom mark both times and it was just so hard coming back from the left-hand side.
"My boat speed is fine. It’s really just the shifts and there are some big ones out there. You can gain and lose quite a lot and, unfortunately, I have been losing. There’s still a long way to go but I need some good races."
Three more New Zealand boats will join Meech on the race course tomorrow with Peter Burling and Blair Tuke beginning their quest in the 49er, Alex Maloney and Molly Meech opening their campaign in the 49erFX and Josh Junior getting under way in the Finn.
All three will be among the favourites in their fleets and they're likely to face shifty offshore winds on their first day.
Results and standings after day two of the Olympic sailing regatta in Enoshima:
Laser (35 boats)
1st: Kaarle Tapper (FIN) 2 3 (14) - 5 points
2nd: Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) (15) 6 3 - 9 pts
3rd: Pavlos Kontides (CYP) 4 (7) 5 - 9 pts
17th: Sam Meech (NZL) (19) 19 8 - 27 pts
Laser Radial (44 boats)
1st: Line Flem Host (NOR) (20) 3 1 - 4 pts
2nd: Svenja Weger (GER) 5 1 (21) - 6 pts
3rd: Vasileia Karachaliou (GRE) 2 (19) 6 - 8 pts
Women's RS:X (27 boards)
1st: Charline Picon (FRA) 1 6 2 (9) 1 4 - 13 pts
2nd: Emma Wilson (GBR) 5 2 (6) 1 4 2 - 14 pts
3rd: Marta Magetti (ITA) 6 3 3 (13) 6 7 - 25 pts
Men's RS:X (25 boards)
1st: Mateo Sanz Lanz (SUI) 1 1 (9) - 2 pts
2nd: Angel Granda Roque (ESP) 2 3 (13) - 5 pts
3rd: Kiran Badloe (NED) 5 (7) 1 - 6 pts