Readers react as Sir Ben Ainslie's America's Cup sailing team leaves Old Portsmouth

OVER 100 readers have shared their views on the America's Cup team leaving the city.

Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 1:09 pm

It was announced yesterday that Old Portsmouth is now only ‘one of many’ possible locations for Olympic gold medallist Sir Ben's racing team.

The news comes as the elite sailor's purpose-built £12m building at The Camber in Old Portsmouth has been sublet to an award-winning maritime firm and financial advisors.

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'Disappointment' as Sir Ben Ainslie's sailing America's Cup team moves out of pu...

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Sir Ben Ainslie at the Portsmouth-based Land Rover BAR HQ.

Sir Ben's designers at his team Ineos Britannia are now based in Brackley with Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1.

Ineos Britannia is supported financially by Sir Jim Ratcliffe of the Ineos Chemicals group.

The businessman owns a third of the F1 team and is funding Sir Ben's latest sailing challenge in the 27th America's Cup.

The announcement of the move has solicited a strong reaction from readers of The News, with more than 110 comments on a recent Facebook post about the team’s – at least temporary – departure.

The building has been summarised by our readers as an 'eyesore' in a majority of comments.

Leslie Harris said: 'I don't think he ever intended to stay long, that building is an eyesore.’

Another reader, Tina Pink said: ‘Another waste of tax payers money, should be made to pay it back!'

Rob Watkins commented: ‘Hopefully he’s taking the monstrosity of a building away with him that’s destroyed residents views!’

Other readers have added what they think should be done with the building now it is no longer being used by the team.

Rob Emery said: 'Knock it down and erect buildings more in keeping with the area, or use it to house the Royal Marine and other maritime museums.’

Paul Henty agreed that the building should be used for the community: ‘He has used the city, so if he has left who does the building belong to and whose money built it? He should definitely not profit from it, if it reverts back to the council it should be used for youth club/outward bound groups.’

Whilst Paul Threadingham said: 'What a waste of money which could have been spent on other areas in Portsmouth for the people of Portsmouth, not a bunch of spoilt rich boys.'

No venue has yet been set for the America's Cup and Sir Ben is now being forced to pay £110,000-a-year rent for The Camber after pulling the sailing team from the base in June this year.

The rent is now due as a clause in the contract brings to an end the rent-free period if the building is not being mainly used for the America’s Cup.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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