Fans cheer on Sir Ben as America's Cup racing starts

FANS of the America's Cup cheered on Sir Ben Ainslie as his Land Rover BAR team raced over the weekend.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 29th May 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 8:52 pm
Katrina Arens and David Ellis enjoy the America's Cup action on the big screen at Gunwharf Quays
Katrina Arens and David Ellis enjoy the America's Cup action on the big screen at Gunwharf Quays

A big screen at Gunwharf Quays showed the races in Bermuda allowing people in Portsmouth to cheer on Sir Ben.

Deck chairs and a Lego model of an America’s Cup catamaran drew in the crowds as the racing got under way.

Sir Ben and his team won their first qualifying race on Saturday against Sweden’s Artemis Racing. But a collision during their second race against SoftBank Team Japan saw them lose.

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Last night Land Rover BAR suffered a nosedive which proved crucial in their defeat to Oracle Team USA.

Watching the action get under way on Saturday were husband and wife John and Eve Blackett.

The couple, from Old Portsmouth, thought it was a good idea to have the big screen showing the races.

Eve said: ‘We have had a lovely day looking around Gunwharf Quays and then watching Sir Ben.

‘We enjoyed watching the racing in Southsea last year so to see the latter stages of the cup now has been great.

‘The second race was very dramatic with the collision with Japan.

‘Seeing all the teams really going for it made the whole thing exciting.’

Dennis Drury took his 12-year-old son Blake to watch the racing on the screen.

Blake got into sailing during the first America’s Cup World Series event in Southsea. Since then, he has been a big fan of Olympic gold medallist Sir Ben.

Blake said: ‘I enjoyed cheering him on during the first race when they won. It was really cool to watch.

‘I loved seeing them in Southsea and I liked to see them again.’

Dennis, from Southsea, added: ‘This has been a nice evening out and it is something different for us to do.

‘It is good that people in Portsmouth want to show their support for Sir Ben.’

The big screen will also be at Gunwharf Quays tonight as Land Rover BAR take on France.