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Hundreds of dedicated fans have turned out to welcome the America's Cup winning team Emirates New Zealand.
The Kiwis claimed international sport's oldest trophy last weel with a stunning 7-1 victory in Bermuda's Great Sound, with 26-year-old Peter Burling becoming the youngest helmsman to secure sailing's biggest prize.
In doing so, he usurped New Zealand's nemesis, Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill, who won the cup in 2010 aged 30 and was hoping for a third successive victory.
Huge applause greeted Burling as he walked into the arrivals hall at Auckland Airport.
"To bring the Cup home has just blown us away," he said.
Team New Zealand chief Grant Dalton told the gathered crowd there was a lot of emotion and they were "so proud" to bring the Cup back to New Zealand.
"It's an overwhelming feeling of just pride," Dalton said.
Skipper Glenn Ashby added: "It's largely redemption for the whole team and for the whole country, from (the loss in) San Francisco."
Burling said they would be enjoying having it back home.
"We're just enjoying this moment. When it's going well, it's going well."
Blair Tuke said it was "a lot of hard work" before the campaign to get to the Cup home.
"We're just going to enjoy this - It's a heck of a milestone."
The crew was also welcomed with a powhiri performed by members of Ngati Whatua.
Big crowd expected at parade
Police reminded people planning to attend the welcome home parade on Thursday in Auckland to allow plenty of time as large numbers of supporters were expected in the central city.
The parade was due to begin at 12.30pm on Queen St and finish at the Viaduct Harbour.
The team would then take to the water, and sail around the Viaduct Basin, North Wharf, Hobson Wharf, Princes Wharf and Queens Wharf where the Cloud is situated.