The first of the America's Cup challengers boats has arrived in Auckland.

American Magic's first AC75, named 'Defiant', has docked in Auckland on the container ship BBC Destiny after a more than month-long journey from Florida.

It will be unloaded at the New York Yacht Club's Viaduct base tomorrow, the day helmsman Dean Barker is released from his 14 days in quarantine.

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Dean Barker. Photo / Photosport
Dean Barker. Photo / Photosport

American Magic skipper Terry Hutchinson said it was a major milestone in their campaign.

"If you think about where we started two and a half years ago, we virtually had nothing, there were a couple of us and a helmsman when we were piecing this thing together, and so to get to this point, to be the first challenger in Auckland, we're proud of everything that we've done," Hutchinson said.

"You can't help but feel a positive sense of energy about the whole thing."

Hutchinson confirmed they had enough team members on the ground to get Defiant set-up at their base but would have to play the waiting game from there.

Challenger bases at the viaduct basin during the America's Cup in 2000. Photo / Photosport
Challenger bases at the viaduct basin during the America's Cup in 2000. Photo / Photosport

"A couple of days after the initial exemption was granted, we were given clearance for a certain portion of our team," he said, "... from there we're in a bit of a holding pattern, it's still nervous times.

"It's a difficult situation, we basically just took delivery of a bunch of groceries sitting on the kerb waiting to go inside, so that's were we're at."

American Magic hope to be sailing by the third week in July - the first time New Zealand fans will be able to see two AC75's on the same stretch of water.

Team New Zealand's AC75, Te Aihe, is expected to be sailing again on the Waitemata this week after an absence of over four months.


It will take over from the design and development test boat, the 12-metre Te Kahu.

Emirates Team New Zealand's Te Aihe. Photo / Photosport
Emirates Team New Zealand's Te Aihe. Photo / Photosport

Since Te Aihe stopped sailing in mid-January to be shipped to Europe for two now-cancelled America's Cup World Series regattas, the design focus has been on the development of various wing designs.

The other two challengers, INEOS Team UK and Luna Rossa are expected to be sailing in Auckland in early September and the third week in October respectively.

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