‘Firms should make most of America’s Cup bid’

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MAKE the most of the opportunities the prestigious America’s Cup will present – that is the message being sent to businesses.

Team Origin, the company organising the huge event in Portsmouth in July, invited businesses to discuss how they can capitalise on the world’s eyes being on the city over the next two years. It is being held here as Sir Ben Ainslie’s racing team is based in Old Portsmouth.

Businessmen at yesterday's event

Businessmen at yesterday's event

There was a diverse mix of businesspeople at the presentation at abarbistro in Old Portsmouth yesterday.

Jim Cochrane, from UK Flyers, in Fratton, said: ‘We’re a local business and we’re keen to be involved in the America’s Cup coming to Portsmouth.

‘It’s undeniably one of the biggest events the city will see for some time and we want to be on the list.’

Jonathan Goring, the team base project director for Ben Ainslie Racing said up to 80 per cent of people working on the base at The Camber are local.

Lucy and Bill Branson own the Tenth Hole Tea Rooms in Eastern Parade, Southsea. They said they were enthused by Team Origin’s desire to support local businesses. Lucy said: ‘It was fantastic to see how they want to get local businesses on board – from the building of the base to getting firms involved in the waterfront activities.

‘They have a great approach and it will bring nothing but good opportunities. We’re really excited about it.’

Ben Lippiett, manager of Haslar Marina and an advisor to Gosport Marine Scene, said he expects to the marina to be at full capacity with visiting yachtsmen. And Nigel Craine from navigation equipment company Garmin said: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for Portsmouth. ‘

Up to 500,000 spectators are expected to descend on Southsea for the World Cup Series over the weekend of July 23 to 26 and again the following year. To find out about business opportunities go to teamorigin.com.