The Team New Zealand 72-foot America's Cup catamaran has been named New Zealand at a ceremony at Auckland's Viaduct Harbour on Saturday.

A thousand people pulled on a rope to "load" a catapult that smashed a champagne bottle on the yacht, which skipper Dean Barker's wife Mandy named.

Fireworks lit up the sky at the event attended by Prime Minster John Key, Auckland Mayor Len Brown and about 6000 spectators.

"We are proud of what we have achieved so far, working in a tin shed in Auckland," Grant Dalton, the team's managing director, said.

A 40-metre high, red wingsail was slotted into the boat's 22m-long and 14m-wide hull platform at the team's Auckland base on Wednesday.

The catamaran is the first of two Team NZ will build for the 2013 America's Cup campaign. It can only be sailed 30 days between launch and January 31.

America's Cup regattas traditionally used monohulls but the last race held in Valencia was a multi-hull duel between the US syndicate Oracle and Switzerland's defending champion Alinghi. It was won by Oracle.

The 72-footers will be used for the Louis Vuitton Cup for challengers and the America's Cup match, both to be held on San Francisco Bay in 2013.

NZ Newswire

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