Like a scene out of James Bond, minus the martinis, the America's Cup is being secured by sensors, alarms, cameras and cordons at its new home.

Look but don't touch will be the motto for members of the public expected to turn out in their droves to see the Auld Mug on display at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) in Westhaven, Auckland.

RNZYS general manager Hayden Porter was tight-lipped about specifics of the security details but said the state-of-the-art system was "much more advanced" than when the club last held the cup between 1995 and 2003.

"We are taking the role of custodian much more seriously," he said.

"It's the oldest sporting trophy in the world so that comes with quite a bit of responsibility to ensure that it continues its reign for many years to come.

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"[The Cup] certainly has several layers of protection against someone attempting to damage it," he said.

Security has been top priority since Maori activist Benjamin Nathan walked into RNZYS and took to the sailing trophy with a sledgehammer in 1997.

The America's Cup is secured by sensors, alarms, cameras and cordons at its new home on Auckland's waterfront. Photo/Nick Reed
The America's Cup is secured by sensors, alarms, cameras and cordons at its new home on Auckland's waterfront. Photo/Nick Reed

The Auld Mug is perched in a purpose-built cabinet, surrounded by barriers and out of public reach.

If a member of the public crosses the barrier, a cautionary alarm will sound warning them to step back. Failure to do so would activate a second alarm that directly alerts police.

"If [someone] were to touch the cabinet for instance, that would indicate that someone was there that shouldn't be there and a number of alarms would be activated as a result of that," Porter said.

Porter said the alarms would sound before someone could get close enough to even lift the Cup.

"We also have security keeping an eye on it in person and via cameras ... during the periods we are open."

Porter said there had been a lot of interest in the Cup from all around the country and it had already been viewed by hundreds of people at RNZYS.

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Public viewings are available at RNZYS on Saturdays and Sundays between 2pm and 4pm, by appointment only. A possible upcoming tour of the regions could affect this schedule.

To arrange a viewing, you must call the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron on (09) 360 6800. Spaces are limited.