Just 100 days to go until America’s Cup arrives in Portsmouth

THRILLING The America's Cup World Series off Naples in 2013. Picture: ACEA / photo Gilles Martin-Raget
THRILLING The America's Cup World Series off Naples in 2013. Picture: ACEA / photo Gilles Martin-Raget
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EXCITEMENT around the America’s Cup World Series is hotting up as today marks 100 days until the contest begins off Portsmouth’s shores.

And the organisers behind the four-day sailing event from July 23 this year have announced an exciting programme of activities in celebration of the countdown.

In my opinion, the America’s Cup has always been about combining a premier sporting event with a full onshore programme, that delivers the widest possible appeal to a large and growing audience.

Sir Keith Mills

The South Coast Proms, usually held on Whale Island, will be on Southsea Common over the first two nights.

Visitors to the two-hour concerts led by the Royal Marines Band will be treated to classical, contemporary and military performances.

Following that on Saturday night is a music concert with internationally-renowned acts being put together by the team behind Victorious Festival.

The News has also been selected as the regional media partner for the spectacle, which is featuring a British team spearheaded by Olympic sailor Sir Ben Ainslie.

Sir Keith Mills, chairman of the Portsmouth event, said: ‘In my opinion, the America’s Cup has always been about combining a premier sporting event with a full onshore programme, that delivers the widest possible appeal to a large and growing audience.

‘Adding the evening programme and making maximum use of the facilities set up for the daytime means we can provide a true spectacle in Portsmouth for local, national and international visitors.’

A daytime programme has also been arranged with a Waterfront Festival Arena and a pay-to-view Fanzone Area being put on the common.

More than 90,000 tickets have already been snapped up for the sites.

Portsmouth is staging the first round of the America’s Cup qualifiers after the Italian leg was cancelled following Team Luna Rossa’s decision to pull out.

Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘With 100 days to go, there is a huge amount of strategic planning which still needs to be finalised.

‘Hosting major events with up to 500,000 visitors a day is a massive amount of kudos to the city.’

Separate tickets need to be bought for the music concert and South Coast Proms, with prices being released soon. To secure tickets for the fan areas, visit ticketmaster.co.uk/ACWSPortsmouth