Fan zones across Northland erupted in cheers, applause and flag-waving as Team New Zealand stormed to a 7-3 victory in the America's Cup.
The Kiwi boat dominated from the start, leading every leg of race 10 on Auckland's Waitematā Harbour and clearing the finish line 46 seconds ahead of Italy's Luna Rossa.
Excitement was running high ahead of the race in Kerikeri — home town of Team NZ sailor Blair Tuke — where fans who couldn't get to the Viaduct in Auckland watched the action unfold on the big screen at the Turner Centre instead.
The hoped-for win had Dave Keen, a family friend of the Tukes and a long-time member of Kerikeri Cruising Club, jumping out of his seat.
''It's just the result I wanted. Peter [Burling] had to do it, and 7-3 is a very good result. We're very proud of our Blair Tuke and Andy Maloney too. Kerikeri's done well,'' he said.
Keen admitted to nerves when the score was locked 3-3 but he'd been ''over the moon'' in recent days and was confident the day would bring victory.
''It's been a great series. New Zealand should be proud.''
Keen has previously organised home-coming parades for Tuke and hoped to again organise some sort of welcome, possibly an event at Kerikeri Domain.
Other fans glued to the Turner Centre big screen included an elated Lisa Duffy, who brought her family and a collection of flags.
''I'm so excited, but I'm also disappointed it's over,'' she said.
The family had spent three days at the Viaduct in Auckland and loved everything about the series — especially the race in which the Kiwi boat came from behind to snatch an unexpected win.
''The whole Viaduct was just screaming,'' she said.
About 80 people watched the race at the Turner Centre. Other fan zones in the Far North for the final race were at the Swordfish Club in Paihia, the Duke of Marlborough in Russell, the Pioneer Tavern in Waipapa, the cruising clubs in Mangonui and Ōpua, and even on Urupukapuka Island. The Whangārei fan zone was at Marsden Cove Marina.
Although raised in Tauranga, Team NZ skipper Peter Burling also has close ties to Northland. His father learnt to sail as a boy in Whangārei and his grandparents live in Kerikeri.