Team New Zealand's America's Cup race boat finally en-route to Bermuda.

The 50-ft catamaran was loaded on an Emirates cargo plane at Auckland International Airport this morning, bound for the small island in the middle of the Atlantic.

Team NZ will be the last of the America's Cup teams to arrive in Bermuda having opted to stay in Auckland during its testing and development period.

The team's final day of sailing in Auckland was late last month, since then the shore crew have worked methodically breaking down the race boat, wing sails and stripping and servicing all of the systems in readiness to freight and subsequently refit onto the boat in Bermuda.


In all, 42 tonnes of cargo was loaded onto the flight, including the ACC race boat, two wing sails, a chase boat, daggerboards, gym equipment, electrics, hydraulics and a huge amount of supplementary equipment.

Team NZ's chief operating officer Kevin Shoebridge said the operation has been months in the planning from modelling the contents and loading of the aircraft, to getting bespoke racking produced, to physically packing everything onto the Emirates SkyCargo 747 aeroplane.

"It really is a precise operation that the guys are running, but it was always going to be. We have had this plan in the pipeline for a good 6 months or so now, so at the end of the day it is just part of our process towards getting to Bermuda to bring the America's Cup home to New Zealand," said Shoebridge.

"But the deployment is on and every day counts, so we need everything go to plan so that we are back testing and sailing on the Great Sound in Bermuda in as little time as possible."

Upon arrival in Bermuda the boat will be reassembled at Team NZ's new home base in the heart of the America's Cup race village in the Royal Naval Dockyard, on the western tip of the main island.

Team NZ sent an advance group to Bermuda in January to start setting up the base.

As well as providing a hub for its sailing operations, the base will be also made up of a working tent for the America's Cup Class race boat, a gym, the design and support team offices and another tent for the two wing sails and waterfront hospitality area.