ORGANISERS of this year’s America’s World Cup Series have vowed not to repeat the mistakes of 2015’s spectacle.
Hundreds of thousands of people headed to Portsmouth last year to witness the world-renowned championship.
However, event leaders admitted not everything had gone to plan – something they insist won’t happen at this summer’s race, with improvements already in place.
Speaking at the East Southsea Neighbourhood Forum last night, operations director Jeremy Troughton, of Team Origin, stressed valuable lessons had been learnt.
He said 2015’s event had ‘tried to be too many things’ and because of that, the group struggled to break even.
He told the audience inside Southsea’s Royal Beach Hotel that music events in the evening had failed to attract the revenue that had been hoped for and as a result, this year’s showing will have a reduced number of activities.
‘We misjudged it,’ he said. ‘Portsmouth already has a great music event in the summer. Now we’re just going to focus on the sailing.
‘This time we’re not trying to be anything else.
‘We’re focusing everything that we’re doing to make it a commercial success rather than having a funfair and holding concerts.’
July’s action will have a raft of changes that the organisers hope will be an improvement.
The free spectator area on Southsea Common has been increased in size, with unpopular metal fencing from last year removed.
There will be better opportunities to see racing yachts up close as before each race they will be moored just off Southsea’s coast.
The cost of tickets for the race village and bandstand has also been reduced, being cut from £45 per person to £25, with a larger capacity of up to 20,000 people.
Restrictions on food and drink have been relaxed after complaints last year.
Team Origin event director Leslie Greenhalgh added people from last year’s race had wanted more detailed information about the boats and how they operated – something her team had taken to heart.
‘People’s appetite to know about the racing and who was winning was huge,’ she said.
‘Mistakenly we didn’t think people wanted to be overwhelmed with too much information.
‘Hopefully we will find a happy balance this year.’
The America’s World Cup Series is in Portsmouth between Thursday, July 21 and Sunday, July 24.