America’s Cup races in Portsmouth celebrated

Picture: Pierandrea Guarnieri

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THE announcement that qualifying events for the prestigious America’s Cup coming to Portsmouth has been celebrated today.

As reported, a section of the America’s Cup World Series, a showcase of the globe’s biggest sailors, will be held off the city’s seafront in July 2015 and the year after.

Competing nations in San Francisco, USA, in the 2012 America's Cup

Competing nations in San Francisco, USA, in the 2012 America's Cup

Excitement is high as Sir Ben Ainslie is captaining the British team hoping to bring the America’s Cup to the UK for the first time when it’s held in the US in 2017.

An event was held at the OXO Tower in London this morning marked the news that Portsmouth is playing a major role in the lead up to the event.

Sir Keith Mills, chairman of Team Origin Events, which is coordinating Portsmouth’s world series events, said: ‘What we have been able to secure next July and in 2016 are world class events.

‘We expect hundreds and hundreds of thousands of visitors.

‘Not only will it be a four day festival of sport, it will showcase the UK as a major destination for sporting events. ‘It will provide a huge economic benefit to the whole Solent region and the city of Portsmouth.’

Ben Ainslie Racing is currently building its race base headquarters in Old Portsmouth. It’s hoped that should the British team go on to win the America’s Cup following the qualifying stage, the finals will then in years down the line be held in Portsmouth.

Sir Ben said: ‘It’s great to be part of the maritime heritage in Portsmouth.

‘There really was no other venue for this in terms of the sport side and it being a natural home for our boats.

‘This is really about righting a wrong with the America’s Cup being the only great sport trophy we have not won in this country, and we have to bring it back and to host it in Portsmouth would be immense.’