THE organisers of this summer’s America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth have learnt lessons and will improve the event next year.
City-based Land Rover BAR, skippered by Olympic hero Sir Ben Ainslie, believe the 2016 sailing spectacle will be the biggest of the cup qualifiers.
It’s the crowds of Portsmouth that will be on the videos the America’s Cup team will show to the world to highlight how big the competition is.David ‘Freddie’ Carr, of Portsmouth-based Land Rover BAR
Crew member David ‘Freddie’ Carr said this summer’s event was a huge success, despite concerns over the way it was organised, from the sale of tickets to security staff’s food and drink policy.
Speaking to The News at Land Rover BAR’s headquarters in Old Portsmouth, he added: ‘The events team, Team Origin, have learnt a few lessons following on from this year’s event.
‘It was great, but they have learnt a few things they could do a bit better.
‘Next year’s World Series is going to be a step up again.
‘It’s the crowds in Portsmouth that will be on the videos the America’s Cup team will show to the world to highlight how big the competition is.’
Concerns were raised how visitors who had bought tickets to the South Coast Proms, cancelled due to poor weather, were then allowed free tickets to the Portsmouth Live! concert – featuring Wet Wet Wet, Spandau Ballet, Carly Rae Jepsen and McBusted.
Families who wanted picnics on Southsea Common also had food confiscated.
Asked where he believed changes could be made, veteran sailor David said: ‘It’s hard for us, because during the event we are so incredibly focused.
‘We try to take in the bigger picture – I had 40 to 50 of my family and friends who enjoyed the food and beer tents.
‘I heard nothing but positive responses.
‘But like all things, we learn from the process and we should be really excited for next year’s event.
‘ I’m a bit biased because I’m a local lad, but Portsmouth will be the stand-out of the whole World Series.’
Apprentices from Southampton City College visited Sir Ben’s America’s Cup base this week to see support boats they helped build for Land Rover BAR to use in its America’s Cup challenge.
They went out on the water in one of the boats and were given a tour of the facility at the Camber.