After months of simulations and trials on smaller-scale models while the full-sized model was being built, the moment of truth awaits.

For Team New Zealand, Luna Rossa, INEOS Team UK and American Magic, that time is looming.

Within the next month, the four initial contenders for the 36th America's Cup are expected to get their first race boat on the water, with Luna Rossa confirming they will launch their vessel on September 9, local time.

It is understood Team New Zealand will get their own AC75 in the water slightly earlier, with a launch planned for the morning of September 6. However, the team were yet to announce their launch schedule.


The quartet are all believed to have the main body of their first race boats on site now and are working on putting the pieces together to get them ready for the water.

American Magic confirmed their boat was on site, releasing a video to display its sheer size, while Luna Rossa's vessel was photographed by Italian media.

Luna Rossa's America's Cup vessel has been photographed by Italian media, and although still under wraps, is said to be huge. Photo / Supplied
Luna Rossa's America's Cup vessel has been photographed by Italian media, and although still under wraps, is said to be huge. Photo / Supplied

Although it has been no secret the size of the boats alone should be enough to impress fans, the visuals drive that point home.

For the most part, teams were remaining tight-lipped about the various design aspects of their respective vessels, as the class rule was open in areas such as hull design and the configuration of the mainsail.

The second American challenge, Stars & Stripes Team USA, were yet to complete the build of what is expected to be their only race boat but were hopeful they, too, would be on the water by the end of the year.

There had been some speculation Stars & Stripes were looking likely to go the way of the other late entries and be forced to withdraw their challenge.

In late June, the team released a statement confirming their intention to line up in Auckland in March 2021.

"We continue to make progress with corporate partners and believe we will have what it takes to be competitive in Auckland," skipper Mike Buckley said.


He backed up those comments when contacted by the Herald on Sunday this week, and said any suggestions they were on the verge of withdrawing their challenge were untrue.

The crews' first race boat were able to be launched at the end of March. However, none had yet hit the water.

All five teams will be expected to not only have boats on the water, but have them under control and ready to race in April for the first America's Cup World Series regatta.

The teams will race in Cagliari, Sardinia, over four days in late April next year in what will be the first opportunity to see the exciting new vessels in action and a heads-up on how they perform.

The World Series regattas are important in the America's Cup cycle.

The regattas allow teams to test their vessels and identify areas that need to be improved ahead of the main event.