HUNDREDS of volunteers have been pulled together to help ensure the America’s Cup World Series is a success.
Organisers have drafted in the team of 250 ‘wavemakers’ to greet visitors to the sailing event and act as tour guides.
They will be at the city’s park-and-ride sites and walk to and from The Hard to Southsea Common, from where all the action can be seen.
The group will be at Portsmouth Guildhall, Gunwharf Quays, Gosport and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, where international competitors are to store their boats before races.
Excitement is building around the spectacle from July 23 to 26, which will feature a huge line-up of entertainment and finish off in style with a competition awards ceremony hosted by TV presenter Davina McCall.
Local resident and wavemaker volunteer manager Geoff Terry said: ‘Portsmouth is my home, it’s a fantastic place to live, and I’m proud that a world-class event like the America’s Cup World Series is going to take place on our waters.
‘It’s important that we show the spectators everything our great city has to offer.
‘Therefore it’s essential we have local volunteers on-board sharing their knowledge and passion.
‘I am looking forward to being part of this incredible team of wavemakers.’
To prepare for the event, wavemakers attended a training day at Sir Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup headquarters at the Camber, where his Land Rover BAR team is based.
Portsmouth is my home, it’s a fantastic place to live, and I’m proud that a world class event like the America’s Cup World Series is going to take place on our waters.Wavemaker volunteer manager, Geoff Terry
The training programme was run by HTP Training.
Meanwhile, the official charity of the Portsmouth World Series, The 1851 Trust, is to join up with The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation to hold sailing taster sessions for local schoolchildren.
The foundation was set up in 2013 in honour of English sailor Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson, killed after a catamaran he was crewing capsized.
The sailing scheme – called the Portsmouth Sailing Project – is funded by Travis Perkins and will be hosted by Portsmouth Sailing Club from July 27 until August 30.
The aim is to give 1,000 children aged nine to 14 the chance to get out on the water.
Sir Ben, patron of the 1851 Trust, welcomed the move.
He said: ‘Having two great charities working together to get young people from Portsmouth out on the water and experience sailing is just fantastic.’
To sign up for the sessions, visit portsmouthsailingproject.org
Tickets for the World Series fanzone area and the Portsmouth Live! concert – featuring Spandau Ballet, Wet Wet Wet and McBusted – are still on sale.