Portsmouth America's Cup team confirm race with New Zealand crew with hopes it will be set off the Isle of Wight
A PORTSMOUTH-BASED sailing team is to go up against a crew from New Zealand in the next America’s Cup race.
Emirates Team New Zealand has accepted the challenge from Sir Ben Ainslie’s Ineos Team UK, based in Old Portsmouth.
A setting for the event has yet to be confirmed, but speculation has suggested that the race could take place around the Isle of Wight.
The announcement follows the New Zealand team racing through home waters to secure their fourth America’s Cup win this week.
Sir Ben Ainslie’s Ineos Team UK, based in Old Portsmouth, had progressed to the challenger final but fell to the Italian Luna Rossa outfit.
The world’s oldest sporting event was due to return to Portsmouth last year, but these plans were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Sir Ben Ainslie said: ‘Ineos Team UK are committed to working alongside Emirates Team New Zealand and our respective yacht clubs to continue the development of this historic event.
‘The introduction of the AC75 class of yacht has proven to be a transformative moment in the history of the America’s Cup and will be the bedrock of a really bright future.’
The race will see the team become the first British crew to compete in three consecutive Cup cycles since 1930.
The America’s Cup was first contested in 1851 in Cowes, Isle of Wight and organised by the Royal Yacht Squadron.
Bertie Bicket, chairman of Royal Yacht Squadron Racing, who has been in Auckland, New Zealand for the duration of the 36th America’s Cup said: ‘We are delighted to be embarking on our third successive America’s Cup challenge with Sir Ben Ainslie and Ineos, as the Challenging Yacht Club for the 37th America’s Cup.
‘We look forward to working with all parties and will strive to continue the tradition and history of this great sporting event.’