Team New Zealand's shiny new boat, Te Rehutai, provided the America's Cup defenders a pleasant surprise on its first day on the water.
Auckland's Waitematā Harbour and Hauraki Gulf offered up a handy breeze and relatively calm seas for the long-awaited debut appearance by the boat for a sailing team that Grant Dalton described as going "stir crazy" with the length of time they've had to wait.
The design of Te Rehutai has been locked in place for over nine months, with only simulations and speculation offering a glimpse into how the boat would perform on the water. However, star helmsman Peter Burling praised its debut.
"Probably exceeded expectations a little bit, you know, to be able to just go out and do some nice manoeuvres in a good bit of breeze," Burling said in a statement post-sail.
"The boat felt really nice which is exactly what we're after so we're pretty happy with day one but we've got a lot of hard work ahead."
Fellow sailing superstar Blair Tuke was similarly satisfied with the outing.
"It's great for the whole team to see it out there flying, doing its thing, after a heck of a lot of work from so many people to get to this point."
American Magic skipper and executive director Terry Hutchinson was also impressed by Team New Zealand's new AC75, saying its design featured innovation that has become characteristic with the team's America's Cup campaigns.
"You can see a lot of clever ideas and you can see the evolution that they took from boat one through their little test boat which is probably a pretty critical component to the development of their boat two," he told Newstalk ZB.
"It's an exciting time because, interestingly, there are some features in that boat that we saw in the INEOS boat, so there is a lot of clever thinking going on. You know without question the boat is going to be fast and you know there's been a lot of smart people working on it. As always, you hold the utmost respect for what you see."
American Magic and fellow challengers INEOS Team UK and Luna Rossa have already been sailing their second vessels out on the Waitematā Harbour over the past couple of weeks, and Team New Zealand are expected to join them in the days ahead as they prepare for the World Series event in Auckland in a month.
Next month's event will be the only opportunity the syndicates have to race against one another before the challenger series. It is yet to be decided if Team New Zealand will be allowed to take part in that warm-up event after claims they were late with their entry fee.
It has caused yet another dispute between them and Challenger of Record Luna Rossa, and now likely rests in the hands of the Arbitration Panel.