Countdown begins for America's Cup with weeks to go until race

EXCITEMENT for the America's Cup is building with less than four weeks until the '˜world's spotlight shines on Portsmouth' once again.

Tuesday, 28th June 2016, 6:10 am
From left, Sir Ben Ainslie, Land Rover BAR Team Principle, Sir Keith Mills, LVACWS Director and Land Rover BAR Board Member with Martin Whitmarsh, Land Rover BAR CEO Picture by: Malcolm Wells (160627-0035)

Sir Ben Ainslie and his Land Rover BAR team are looking forward to the start of the racing, which kicks off on July 22 in the Solent.

Thousands of people are expected to watch the action off Southsea seafront and Sir Ben is hoping his team can repeat last year’s success.

He told The News: ‘We’re really looking forward to getting racing in the America’s Cup World Series back here in Portsmouth.

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‘We had an incredible event last year. As a new team we were able to come out and win in front of our home crowd and we would love to do that again.

‘Portsmouth has shown fantastic support for the team, right back to when we were looking to base ourselves here.

‘We’ve tried to have a positive impact on the local economy and community and we’re doing that with the event this year.’

As previously reported in The News, this year’s race village will have more attractions, including a technology zone where visitors will be able to learn about the race boats and how they work.

The teams will be moored nearer to the shore so it is easier for visitors to meet them.

Event chairman Sir Keith Mills said it was exciting to have just weeks to go until the racing, where points are on offer in the race to take on the USA in the America’s Cup final.

‘The event will build on the success of last year,’ he said. ‘2015 was phenomenal and this year’s race village creates a much bigger fan experience. There’s the chance for families to take a picnic on Southsea Common for free to soak up the atmosphere and cheer on Sir Ben. The America’s Cup is a great way to promote Portsmouth and part of the reason why the city council and navy have been so supportive is because it really shines a world spotlight on the city.’