Portsmouth can be proud of how we put on a show

Steve's baby daughter made amazing progress this week, or so his wife thought

STEVE CANAVAN: It was a lot of rattle over just a little roll

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So now we know. Official figures show that almost 250,000 people descended on the harbour and seafront last month to sample the atmosphere and action of the America’s Cup World Series.

The weather gods may not have been kind, with heavy rain and high winds leading to the cancellation of a concert and a whole day’s racing.

But Portsmouth can be proud of how well we put on a show – and of how many came to be part of it.

We always knew hosting the World Series would bring huge benefits to the city, not just in attracting visitors but in showcasing Portsmouth to an international audience.

We hoped it would demonstrate that the city is a serious player when it comes to staging big events, with a fantastic backdrop and people full of enthusiasm.

So it’s great to get a ringing endorsement from Sir Keith Mills, chairman of event organisers Team Origin Events.

He said: ‘There is little doubt that this event is now a must-attend event on the British sporting calendar.’

Figures show 245,460 spectators enjoyed the action over the four days. There were 108,329 spectators within the Southsea Common event site, 25,700 out on the water and 111,431 watching from sites including the Historic Dockyard and Gunwharf Quays.

No wonder winning Land Rover BAR skipper Sir Ben Ainslie said he and his team were ‘blown away’ by the sight of so many cheering them on.

Of course, it wasn’t perfect. There were gripes about food and drink being confiscated and barriers being put up on the seafront. But overall we think things went really well.

Now we look forward to the World Series returning here next year – and for the event to get even bigger and better.