What a venue! Portsmouth plays host to some of world's greatest sporting contests

Whether on land or on the water, Portsmouth has welcomed competitors from all over the world in all sorts of sports down the years.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 8:00 pm
The peloton rides into Portsmouth during stage five of the Tour de France on July 7, 1994. Picture: Pascal Rondeau/Allsport/Getty Images.
The peloton rides into Portsmouth during stage five of the Tour de France on July 7, 1994. Picture: Pascal Rondeau/Allsport/Getty Images.

As we see here, much of it, unsurprisingly, has been water-related, but once in a blue moon something quite surprising comes along.

Like the 1994 Tour de France.

Those of us lucky to have witnessed that supercharged event will surely agree Portsmouth had seen nothing like it before… or since (OK, apart from the celebrations after the 2008 FA Cup Final perhaps).

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August 17, 1938: Southsea beach before the Portsmouth-Ryde swimming race across the Solent (3.5 miles), are two of the competitors: C Rogers, (left), who had previously set a record time, and Cecil Deane, the English long-distance champion. Picture: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

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May 1914: The launching of Shamrock IV, Britain's challenge for the America's Cup yacht race, at Portsmouth. Picture: Central Press/Getty Images.
July 1951: Lieutenant Commander SA Hammick in See Otter, the entry of HMS Vernon in the Monarch Bowl Trophy race off Southsea. The race was open to entries from all branches of the services. Picture: George W. Hales/Fox Photos/Getty Images.
Prime minister Edward Heath (1916-2005), captain of the British team in the Admiral's Cup series, poses with his team aboard his yacht Morning Cloud at Southsea before the start of the first race, to Le Havre and back, July 30, 1971. Picture: Leonard Burt/Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)