Rush for hot America’s Cup tickets is no surprise

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We’re not being smart with hindsight, but we always knew it would be a triumph and we said so, despite what the critics would have you believe. And there still are plenty of them.

Unlike them we always saw the huge potential for the arrival of Ben Ainslie Racing in Portsmouth and the spin-off for the city and the surrounding area.

So far we have been proved right, as our story on page 5 shows.

But not even we could have predicted that 50,000 tickets would be sold in just 48 hours for the America’s Cup qualifer to be held off Southsea seafront this summer.

And even more impressively, all of the 10,000 tickets for the four-day sporting and entertainment extravaganza sold to those living in the PO1-PO6 postcode areas were also snapped up within hours of going on sale.

The cynics said Portsmouth people would never turn out for what they perceive to be an elitist sport – a pastime for toffs.

What tosh.

All things maritime and nautical are in the DNA of the people of this area.

Just take a look at any of the marinas or sailing clubs in our communities, an area stretching from Chichester to the Hamble.

Billions of pounds of boats are moored there in their thousands. They range from ocean-going yachts and impressive cruisers to dinghies and rowing boats.

You will meet people from all walks of life who have one thing in common – a love of sailing and the sea.

This is one reason why those 50,000 tickets disappeared in two days. Another is that those who sneer at the Sir Ben Ainslie effect fail to grasp that Portsmouth people love a big event and will turn out in droves to prove it.