Polite applause rang out of Shed 10 as Oracle pulled over the finish line this morning, a far cry from the exuberance which erupted when Team New Zealand looked to be in the lead.
Punters watched nervously, some in tears as the gap between Oracle and Aotearoa continued to widen.
Samantha Dalzell-Matthew, 19, allowed herself to watch the final, telling herself she would not cry. She failed.
"I hadn't been able to face it but I'm so proud of them.
"I think we worked our absolute hardest and the fact they couldn't get it at the end was gutting."
Donning black face paint, Auckland mayor Len Brown was still chipper as he applauded Team USA's journey "back from the dead".
"Oracle were in dire need and they needed the expert boat builders in New Zealand."
He hailed the atmosphere at Shed 10, despite turn-outs not being that flash at times throughout the competition.
"I love the spirit of the place. We really wanted it."
New Zealanders should be proud of their team which was "clearly up against superior technology", Brown said.
Brown said fans should concede the loss with dignity.
"I watched each day and was here most days. And Aucklanders and New Zealanders have shown they are so proud.
"It was so close. You have got to take your hats off to the Yanks, it was a come back from the dead and they sailed like hell.
"Our hearts to out to Team NZ, you could hear the emotional applause, it was a stunning effort by our team."
Kerikeri 11-year-old Hannah Watson was still smiling despite feeling "devastated" about the loss, perhaps because she's been off school all week to watch the races.
"I was on the edge of my seat when Team NZ were in the lead, I was so happy. But it turned around so quick, I couldn't believe it."
Watching in despair from the front row, 19-year-olds Phillippa Wood and Laura Andrews said the difference in technology between the boats was "not fair".
"Team NZ made a few mistakes but you can't expect them to be perfect. They deserved to win," said Phillippa, a previous sailor herself.
"The technology obviously makes a huge difference."
As the race progressed, the crowd grew silent. The only noise came from a group of ever-hopeful children, who started up a chant of "let's go Kiwi" as Oracle rounded the fourth mark.
Other punters attempted to join in valiantly, but even the kids quickly realised all the shouting in the world wasn't going to help.
"It's no good at all," said eight-year-old Shaw Watson, from Kerikeri. "They don't deserve it because they're just a country that just has buttloads of money."
His mum Kaylene Watson could barely watch the end of the race.
"I just feel for those guys that worked so hard they deserved it. We deserved it we really did," she said.
"I don't think they should challenge for it again because I don't believe in it any more. It's just about who has the most money."
Watson said she still had faith in the team, and they deserved a parade.
Other fans could only stare at the screen in disbelief as Oracle crossed the line.
"We're really gutted," said Tiger Leysa, from the North Shore. "But they did well, you know up against a billionaire. [Oracle] just had the speed today, crazy."
Robyn Jones was "gutted".
"I feel for the guys, they worked really really hard. We're a really good nation of sailors but you can't beat all the money in the world and unfortunately that's what it's come down to," she said.
In Wellington, a collective groan at the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club acknowledged that Team New Zealand had lost its bid to win the America's Cup.
For some people, many of whom had watched all 19 races, today was the end of a long journey.
Shirley Martin, who hasn't missed a race, said she was "devastated" by the final loss, as Team New Zealand bowed out 9-8.
"Oracle has got a good team too. But they've got the technology and finance behind them," she said.
Andy Crisp, another regular, said he thought Team Zealand had the regatta "in the bag" when it led 8-1.
"But Oracle came back, and back, and back. The more it got closer, the more your collar got tighter."
Helen McNaught said she had watched most races at the club, and the rest at work.
"I had to be here today, it was an extraordinary race."
Each day she wore different item of red clothing, some days a glove and today a scarf.
"I had to be here today, it was an extraordinary race," she said.
- © Fairfax NZ News