Champagne party with the Royals as Sir Ben Ainslie’s Portsmouth side celebrate victory

Sir Ben Ainslie of team Land Rover BAR celebrates their win with Jimmy Spithill of Oracle Team USA. 

Picture: Paul Jacobs (160270-121)
Sir Ben Ainslie of team Land Rover BAR celebrates their win with Jimmy Spithill of Oracle Team USA. Picture: Paul Jacobs (160270-121)
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ROYALTY, champagne and British pride.

The key ingredients of a perfect party; and that’s exactly what British sailing heroes Land Rover BAR were treated to after their stunning victory.

For Portsmouth to hold these events, for us to perform in front of you guys, has been incredible.

Sir Ben Ainslie

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge beamed with delight as they led a ceremony celebrating BAR’s success and the efforts of all teams that competed.

Spectators at the Race Village arena roared with approval as Sir Ben Ainslie and his side were officially crowned the winners of the America’s Cup World Series.

The Olympian was presented with the Portsmouth World Series trophy, designed by 10-year-old Portsmouth schoolboy Zak Kay.

Then the party really started as Moet champagne was cracked open on stage and sprayed everywhere.

And in a speech to the home crowd, a tearful Sir Ben said he would go all out to ensure his side soar through the next round of World Series racing and mount a serious challenge for the America’s Cup trophy in Bermuda next year.

Sir Ben’s sailing elite will now focus on preparing for the Toulon World Series in France in September.

Fukuoka, in Japan, will host the spectacle in November.

Addressing a sea of spectators as cup organisers and Kate and Will watched on, Sir Ben said: ‘It’s been amazing.

‘For Portsmouth to hold these events, for us to perform in front of you guys, has been incredible.

‘The ultimate goal is to bring the America’s Cup back here one day. These teams have the best sailors in the world, but next year in Bermuda, we will give it everything.’

The glittering ceremony kicked off with crowds forming a walkway so teams could come through and greet and shake hands with people.

Cup organisers spoke of their immense satisfaction.

America’s Cup event chairman Keith Mills paid tribute to his colleague and event director, Leslie Greenhalgh, for her work and presented her with flowers.

Sir Keith said: ‘Hasn’t it been an amazing weekend of racing?

‘Isn’t Ben and the team fantastic? To make all of this happen, requires a huge number of people and organisations, including the city council here, the Queen’s Harbour Master, the Royal Navy and particularly the volunteers.’

And there was laughter aplenty as Land Rover BAR were presented with Louis Vuitton gift bags and Sir Ben posed with one.

Coldplay’s A Sky Full of Stars blared out as the Brits celebrated their success with champagne.

Land Rover BAR came second in the final race of the day yesterday, but that was enough to win the whole regatta; by one point ahead of Oracle Team USA. Sir Ben praised the US side for putting up a valiant effort.