THOUSANDS of people will line the seafront to watch teams from across the globe battle in the very first America’s Cup regattas of the series.
It comes as it has been revealed the four-day World Series events in Portsmouth are due to take place off Southsea seafront in June 2015 and July 2016.
Organisers hope to put on a festival on Southsea Common close to the finish line. Race action further off the coast will be shown on big screens.
Leslie Greenhalgh, events director at America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth, said: ‘What we’ve got together is a really public show with lots of other events going on around the racing.
‘It’s a bit like a rally car but the course is a lot closer.
‘They’re going to be 45ft catamarans – they fly above the water and can be doing anything from 25 to 30 knots.’
Final details will be confirmed in an announcement later this month.
Six teams have been confirmed but Leslie added she expects two or three could join before the regattas begin.
Four to six events will be held each year each across the globe and will see the teams rack up points.
And spectators will be watching the very first events of the world series as Portsmouth kick-starts the races. Leslie added: ‘It’s great to get it.’
Peter Cardy, from Gosport Marine Scene, which helped with Sir Ben’s bid, said: ‘It will be very exciting.
‘There’s huge interest in looking at things going on in the sea.
‘We can expect lots of people to turn out. The racing is high speed and very close quarters.’
Sir Ben’s race base is being built at the Camber Dock in Old Portsmouth.
Visiting teams, including those from America, France, New Zealand, Sweden and Italy, will have their boats based at the Historic Dockyard.
Members of the public will be able to see the teams putting the 45ft catamarans in and out of the water.
Councillor Lee Hunt, member for Central Southsea at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘It’s huge exciting, it’s bringing lots more sports to our city.
‘They’re going to be right up toward the beach, it’s going to be massive.’
He added: ‘The whole country is behind him – it’s the one thing this country hasn’t won.’
The government has given £7.5m in cash for Sir Ben’s race bid.