PEOPLE enjoying time at the beach yesterday were given a sneak preview of next week’s America’s Cup spectacle.
Four of the six teams were in the waters off Lee-on-the-Solent, much to the delight of visitors.
Land Rover BAR Great Britain, Oracle Team USA, Sweden’s Artemis Racing and Softbank Team Japan spent the afternoon racing through the waves practising manoeuvres and getting used to the Solent.
Frank and June Johnson, from Lee-on-the-Solent, were walking their dog before stopping to watch.
Frank, 68, said: ‘It was great to see the teams out in the Solent before the race next week.
‘They were picking up some speed out there – they really are quick.
It was great to see the teams out in the Solent before the race next week.Frank Johnson
‘It would have been nice to see them a little closer but just seeing them in the Solent is fantastic.’
June, 65, added: ‘Their skills are just amazing. I bet when they are racing for real, it’s going to be a good show.’
George Cummins, from Hill Head, drove along the shore to see the training session.
He said it was great seeing the America’s Cup on his doorstep.
‘I love the America’s Cup and have watched the last few,’ he said.
‘To have it on my doorstep is great. The race next week is going to be a real spectacle.’
The four-day race kicks off next Thursday and hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected to flock to Southsea.
One of those is Dan West, from Gosport. The 52-year-old secured his ticket for the race weeks ago and said he cannot wait.
‘It was definitely a surprise seeing the teams off Lee beach but it has made me even more excited for the race,’ he said.
‘To see their techniques, even when they are just practising, is great.’
As part of the racing show, Her Majesty’s Royal Marines will perform on Thursday and Friday evenings.
The event will now be free thanks to the support from the partners and stakeholders. People who have already purchased tickets will get special access close to the stage.
This means that day visitors can stay at the site and enjoy the evening shows.