"The round-robin, you try to win as many races as possible and make it through to the quarterfinals," Tunnicliffe said.
"Everybody is really good and there is going to be a battle in all of the lineups," Tunnicliffe said.
Huntington's Erik Storck and partner Trevor Moore had another difficult go, finishing 20th and 18th in their two 49er skiff races.
In their first race -- and seventh overall -- Team USA finished last, 3:15 behind winner Great Britain. In Race 8, they crossed 1:57 after Australia. Thursday's finishes have Storck and Moore 12th in the standings, with the top 10 teams advancing to medal races next Wednesday.
On Wednesday, the duo took seventh and 13th in their two races.
"The pressure is still the same," Moore said. "You just have to go out and execute, and we didn't do that today. There is little room for error in this fleet."
Australia is atop the standings with 24 points and Team USA has 71. Austria is in 10th place with 61 points. The U.S. still has an opportunity to make up ground with seven races remaining, including three Friday.
"We have to go out and execute and capitalize on the strengths that we have," Moore said.
Shelter Island's Amanda Clark will compete Friday in the first race of the women's 470 sailing tournament. Clark will skipper the two-person dinghy, along with crew member Sarah Lihan. Clark, 30, finished 12th in the event in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, but earned a bronze medal in the 2011 Sail Melbourne World Cup.