By Amy Williams of RNZ
Superyacht berths at two Auckland marinas are almost fully booked for the America's Cup.
Only four of the 77 berths remain and so far most are occupied by New Zealand vessels.
Economic agency Auckland Unlimited's general manager of destination, Steve Armitage, said closed borders and strict entry criteria for foreign superyacht crews mean many organised their passage to the country weeks ago.
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"Around a third of those are from international boats that have come in complying with the requirements that have been set down post-Covid, so that does require them to have a significant amount of fitout work being undertaken, which does provide a boost to our local marine industry."
The berths set aside for the floating palaces are at Silo and Viaduct marinas.
Off the water, spectators have shown strong support for the regatta.
Armitage said organisers are keeping tallies of the number of visitors to the Cup Village in the Viaduct on race days.
"We've had more than 150,000 people through the village on the race days thus far. Anecdotally and speaking with the City Skipper volunteers that we have in and around Auckland, they are definitely dealing with a lot of people who have come from outside of the region."
He said the most people at the village on any one day so far is 30,000.
"The drama on the water has certainly piqued people's interest, there's a lot of people talking about it. It's just one of those events that seems to capture the public's imagination."