Team New Zealand's yacht Camper lost a last-minute bid to snatch third place at the end of the fourth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race on Sunday.
It is the first time sailing's biggest round-the-world race has stopped over in Auckland in 10 years.
Camper crossed the line in fourth place about 50 metres behind Spanish entry Telefonica just before 1pm.
An hour earlier, Puma skippered by American Ken Reid took second place at the halfway point.
France's Groupama crossed the line at midnight on Saturday to win the leg despite the yacht taking on water due to an unexplained leak.
Camper had a heartbreaking hometown welcome in Auckland on Sunday.
Camper's co-skipper Chris Nicholson says the thousands of fans who cheered them partly made up for the loss.
Camper now lies third overall behind Telefonia and Groupama, with the six-boat fleet departing on the second half of the race in a week's time.