Sir Ben Ainslie is hoping his Land Rover BAR team can continue to improve
They engage with each other, with their audience. Ainslie gives his answers, then reverts to a thousand-yard stare.
His bid to 'Bring The Cup Home', so boldly stated in big red letters beside a Union Jack along the most high-profile boatshed on this island, has been holed beneath the waterline, both literally and figuratively.
The collision with SoftBank Team Japan during the pre-start of their second race punctured not only the hull of Land Rover BAR, leaving a 15ft gash, but also all the momentum of their surprise opening win over pre-series favourites Artemis.
The shore team worked through the night to get the £10million catamaran back out on the water, but that has been one of their few successes against what has turned out to be their greatest rival. Time.
Yesterday's win over Artemis, only their second victory in six races, may have taken the patient off life support, but further surgery is required and the knowledge that to win the America's Cup as a new team has proved beyond most is no morphine.
Ainslie has built Land Rover BAR from scratch, and even won the World Series in the build-up, giving them a two-point advantage in the five-team fight for the right to take on Oracle Team USA for the Auld Mug, a bonus which may prove life-saving.
But in the white heat of this qualifying series, their weaknesses are being exposed. The boat is still being developed as they race – new hydrofoils, which lift the 3.5tonne craft out of the water, were delivered just two weeks ago and only now are they finding competitive speed.
And the communication between Ainslie and Giles Scott, his successor as Olympic Finn champion and alongside him as one of the country's most brilliant sailors, as helmsman and tactician is not yet fully grooved.
"You make one mistake in these boats and it can cost of everything," Ainslie admitted, a truth underlined by the advantage gained by his hyper-aggressive tactics that have won most of BAR's starts being too often whittled away on the course.
"Once you have one bad manoeuvre it just snowballs and you can't catch up. It gets harder and harder to bring it back because of the energy levels required.
"We can do a better job. The hard thing for Giles is the physicality. He's fully locked into grinding and we can't make a change there. Between he and I we have to work out who takes responsibility for the key decisions.
"But we've got a great relationship so we're confident we can do that. Our overall communication is good, it's just those key moments when I have to take over.
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Sir Ben Ainslie and Land Rover BAR in action during the America's Cup
"There are things we are looking at still which we believe can make a difference, particularly the speed in lighter airs. The foil configuration, the shape of the wing – we are looking at everything to make gains."
The greatest gain may come from Ainslie's anger. It is the mood in which he sails best.
It gives him a clarity of thought which sets himself apart and so often has led to the greatest moments of his exceptional career. No one here is writing him off; all his rivals are wary.
"We've proved we can come back in the World Series," said Land Rover BAR team manager Jono Macbeth, who has won the Cup three times. "We've come here to win. We're in the thick of it and strong teams dig themselves out of these situations."
Five points will definitely see them into the semi-finals, and with upgrades coming onto the boat daily thanks to Land Rover's analytical back-up, the seascape may have changed completely by then.
On this tiny island of 100 churches in the middle of the Atlantic, Ainslie feels no need to pray just yet. When he stares into the distance, he can still scent blood.