THE defenders of the historic America’s Cup were expected to arrive in the region ahead of the Portsmouth World Series.
Oracle Team USA will dock at Portsmouth Naval Base ready to wow crowds at the sailing spectacle from July 23 to 26.
Softbank Team Japan and Swedish challengers Artemis Racing will also arrive at the base.
The teams were set to push ahead with their training in the Solent today, and will be regularly out on the water until the contest arrives.
It follows an agreement made by the Royal Navy’s First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, that the service would provide space for international teams during the competition.
A huge crane has also been installed at the base which will hoist yachts in and out of the water over the four days.
From the very start we have been really keen to embrace the local support for the event, and it’s fantastic that so many residents have booked their place and are looking forward to the racing.Portsmouth World Series event director Leslie Greenhalgh
Olympic sailing hero Sir Ben Ainslie inspired Oracle Team USA to a stunning America’s Cup win in 2013 after pulling them back from the brink to overcome Emirates Team New Zealand.
Portsmouth World Series event director Leslie Greenhalgh said: ‘It’s fantastic to see all the America’s Cup teams starting to arrive.
‘This week, Portsmouth residents will be able to watch the teams getting ready from the Historic Dockyard, and also hitting Portsmouth waters to test their AC45 catamarans. From the very start we have been really keen to embrace the local support for the event, and it’s fantastic that so many residents have booked their place and are looking forward to the racing.’
Sir Ben now spearheads British team Land Rover BAR – based out of its new headquarters at the Camber.
Meanwhile, work continues on the World Series race village, which will be split into a fanzone arena for paying customers and a free-to-access waterfront festival arena with a programme of family entertainment.
A 1,500-seat VIP grandstand near the Southsea bandstand is being constructed.
Visitors are being encouraged to get to the event using public transport.
More free tickets have gone on sale for the Waterfront Festival Arena on the Saturday and Sunday.
To book, visit ticketmaster.co.uk/acswportsmouth