Weather can’t dampen smile of stunning cup success

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the images on the big screen were priceless. As Sir Ben Ainslie led his team home in first place in the initial qualifier of the 35th America’s Cup World Series, thousands of delighted spectators could be seen cheering from a resplendent Southsea seafront. As cameras panned around, the hot walls and Spinnaker Tower shone in sun-soaked glory.

Those images were savoured by those cheering crowds watching live from the common. But, more importantly, they were being beamed to a worldwide audience.

The fickle nature of our British summer weather meant that these scenes could not be repeated on what had been billed Super Sunday.

But it is the images of the stunning Saturday which will be indelibly printed on many people’s minds, both around the UK and across the globe. Images which showed off just some of what our great waterfront city has to offer.

The four-day spectacular has not been without its issues, not all weather-related. There were complaints about the strict enforcement of the ‘no food’ policy on Thursday and questions raised about whether fans managed to get in for free to watch the brilliant Portsmouth Live! concert on Saturday night.

But an event on this scale, organised on an incredibly tight deadline, was never going to be without issues.

And these pale in to insignificance compared to the sheer exhilaration provided across the four days – not just by the crews of elite sailors out on the water but also through the added entertainment provided by seaborne and aerial displays.

Land Rover BAR sit on top of the world series leaderboard – and Portsmouth should be proud of also ending the America’s Cup event as a winner.

A spectacular celebration was put on which will hopefully be the catalyst to more visitors coming to the region and more investment by businesses wanting a part of what we have to offer on the south coast.

And as we look back on the last four days there is also the thrill that we will do it all again in 12 months’ time.

The images were enjoyed by those