The New York Yacht Club's first America's Cup boat will arrive in Auckland next month, but it will be some time before it is seen out on the Waitemata Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf.
American Magic have packed everything up and a container is due to leave the US on Monday bound for Auckland. It is expected to take up to 35 days to arrive.
Kiwi skipper Dean Barker will be among the first to arrive in mid-June, confirming they only have a skeleton crew of around six or seven Kiwis who hold New Zealand passports or are permanent residents, with the vast majority waiting on government permission to enter the country.
"It's obviously great for our team to focus now on setting up in New Zealand and getting our team relocated down there," Barker told the Herald from his base in Pensacola, Florida.
"The question still remains as to when we will be able to bring in the foreign team members into New Zealand and we have been working with the authorities to understand how that may play out in the coming weeks."
While the first of American Magic's two Cup boats will arrive early next month, Barker is unsure when they will be able to get out onto the water.
"It will depend on when the rest of the crew can come in but we are hopeful that we can get people down there and be set up to hopefully go sailing sometime at the end of July or early August."
The uncertainty around when the entire crew can settle into New Zealand is the biggest hurdle Barker says they have to overcome.
"We know that regardless of what happens there will be a quarantine period for anyone coming into the country. The team is prepared to cover the cost of that part of it. We are not looking for any special treatment or anything like that - it's more just an understanding of when and how, and hopefully we can bring people in and adjust to the New Zealand way of life."
Barker praised what New Zealand has done to control the spread of Covid-19 and understands American Magic must be patient with their plans to get the entire syndicate relocated.
"A lot of other things are going to take precedence over that. Everything we read and see and hear it sounds like NZ has done a great job dealing with it and fingers crossed it allows some of these things to move forward which we know will help the New Zealand economy."
American Magic are yet to build their base in Auckland and Barker said he would be open to donning the tools as part of the skeleton crew next month.
"I've had to do my apprenticeship before with the team in the past and I'm sure I can get back amongst it. I'm not sure they will want me there, but I will do my best."
Of more apprehension is the prospect of spending 14 days in quarantine with his family - wife Mandy and his four children - when he arrives.
"Fortunately, the kids are at an age where they can now look after themselves but I'm sure it's going to be an interesting time and I'll be looking forward to a few board games.
"We all think it's a fantastic measure that the country has put in place - it's a natural protection and it's necessary. It will be a long couple of weeks I'm sure but it's obviously for a very good reason."