PORTSMOUTH is to get a massive tourism boost after Gunwharf Quays was picked to host the finish of a round-the-world yacht race.
The announcement was made yesterday at the Tullet Prebon London Boat Show that Gunwharf is the planned finish port for the Global Ocean Race.
The race will begin from Southampton in September next year, and the sailors will spend nine months circumnavigating the globe before ending in Portsmouth in June 2015.
Race organiser Josh Hall told The News: ‘Our sailors will complete a 31,000-mile circumnavigation across some of the wildest and most remote ocean areas on the planet.
‘For all sailors, the Solent is the heart of European yacht racing and it is an immense privilege for our race and all our international teams to finish the race at Gunwharf.
‘We are really happy to bring round-the-world, southern ocean racing back to its birthplace in the Solent and I can think of few more appropriate places than Portsmouth for our teams to celebrate the immense achievement of sailing round the world.’
Sean Sweeney, Gunwharf’s centre manager said: ‘It is a great honour to be considered to host the final of the Global Ocean Race.
‘The event would without doubt bring an influx of visitors and sailing enthusiasts to our vibrant city, which is fantastic news for local businesses as well as the centre itself.
‘Gunwharf Quays boasts spectacular views of the world famous sailing waters of the Solent and our marina is renowned for its first-class facilities including 24-hour security.
‘As the south coast’s premier waterfront development, our marina would be a perfect location for such a prestigious sailing event.’
Mike Hancock, Portsmouth’s councillor in charge of economic regeneration, said he looks forward to welcoming the yacht crews to Portsmouth when the time comes.
He added: ‘It shows that Portsmouth has got what it takes to generate that sort of interest.
‘This is once again tremendous news for the city and we should welcome it with open arms.’
Other local firms are also benefiting, with Segensworth marine transport firm PSP being chosen as official logistics partner, responsible for all equipment reaches the stop-over points.