Portsmouth public urged to show their pride for Sir Ben Ainslie in his bid for cup glory

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Pack out Southsea Common and roar on Sir Ben Ainslie in his attempt to bring the America’s Cup home.

So says the man in charge of Portsmouth City Council as the clock ticks down to the beginning of the spectacle.

Portsmouth City Council chief executive David Williams is urging residents to show their pride for Sir Ben and his British sailing challengers, Land Rover BAR, as they prepare to do battle on the water against global competitors.

And Mr Williams hopes the city will reap ‘similar economic benefits’ the World Series brought to the region last summer.

Mr Williams said: ‘We are thrilled to welcome back teams for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series.

‘The seafront is the perfect location from which to watch the world’s best sailors battle it out for a place in next year’s final in Bermuda.

‘Last year’s event brought millions into the city and we hope to see similar economic benefits again.

‘Visitors can watch all the action close-up from the ticketed race village, or enjoy the view from Southsea Common which is unrestricted.

‘This is an opportunity for residents to get behind the Portsmouth-based Land Rover BAR team, and bring the cup home.’

Practice racing kicks off in the Solent on Friday before competitors race for points on Saturday.

This is an opportunity for residents to get behind the Portsmouth-based Land Rover BAR team, and bring the cup home.

David Williams, chief executive of Portsmouth City Council

Then on Sunday the cup regatta draws to a close once teams compete for double points.

An economic report into last year’s event by analysts KPMG revealed spectators spent £5.9m.

The benefit to the UK economy through the World Series was £4.3m after costs are taken into account, with £1.3m coming Portsmouth’s way and Hampshire enjoying £1.6m of benefits.

16-PAGE AMERICA’S CUP

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