The America's Cup has just arrived back in Auckland and look who's not far behind ...

Aussie Jimmy Spithill may have lost his grip on the Auld Mug for now, but the Oracle Team USA skipper has reminded Kiwis that he'll feel right at home with an Auckland regatta in four years.

With the silverware sitting secure behind bulletproof glass less than a kilometre away, Spithill popped up at the Headquarters bar and restaurant in the city's viaduct district, posing with owner Graham Murphy for a photo later posted on Facebook.

He's certainly no stranger to the area, debuting as a 20-year-old helmsman aboard Young Australia, when Team NZ hosted their 2000 defence of the trophy in Auckland.

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And he's been back several times since, buying property in nearby Herne Bay, where he was neighbours with once rival, now ally Dean Barker.

Spithill also bought houses in Glenfield and Mt Eden.

During the 2013 America's Cup campaign in San Francisco, Spithill insisted he wanted to keep the trophy in the United States, because New Zealand was "a long way away".

At the time, Barker quipped: "If we take it to New Zealand, you can just buy a new house down there."

Maybe he's just scouting out nearby watering holes for the next challenge, with Westhaven Marina - just a few minutes' walk away - looming as the likely base.