Champagne conditions expected for Portsmouth Regatta

Portsmouth Regatta action. Picture: Alan White/ Portsmouth Regatta
Portsmouth Regatta action. Picture: Alan White/ Portsmouth Regatta
Tony Langley's TP52 Gladiator. Picture: George Mills Photography

Concise reaches island finish line

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Adrian Saunders is confident this weekend’s Portsmouth Regatta can be the best yet.

Since the event’s revival in 2014, scores of sailors from across the south coast have flocked to race on the Solent.

The regatta will host four different classes of sailing – victory, squib, IRC and club – which will take place over two days.

The Portsmouth event was established in 1864 before coming to an end in 1908.

However, Saunders and a team of organisers from Portsmouth Sailing Club, the Royal Albert Yacht Club (RAYC), the Royal Naval Club and the Victory Class helped resurrect the regatta three years ago.

And he is hoping for another 
prosperous event, which starts tomorrow (11am).

Saunders said: ‘Since the revival, the Portsmouth Regatta has been really successful.

‘We have global brand Sunsail 
sponsoring us, which shows how big it is.

‘We decided to bring it back to celebrate the RAYC’s 150th and Victory Class’ 80th anniversary respectively and have kept it going since.

‘The first event we organised was very big and I think this year will be the same as 2014.

‘People tend to enter late when they know what the weather will be like. We will have around 50 boats entering and it should make for some exciting sailing.

‘It is an exciting course and there will be wind and sunshine – it really will be Champagne sailing conditions.

‘The tempest class – it is their south coast championship, which is a prestigious event.

‘Some of the best sailors from the Solent area will be taking part.’

There have been a number of sailing success stories from the Portmouth area recently. Land Rover BAR emphatically captured the America’s Cup World Series, winning the regatta on the Solent before performing admirably in Bermuda.

Alex Thomson also finished a fantastic second in the Vendée Globe around-the-world yacht race earlier this year.

Saunders is hoping those recent achievements will bring more interest and subsequently get more people out 
on the water.

He added: ‘This is a very popular area for sailing as lots of families have got boats and go out sailing.

‘There is lots of interest created from the general public.

‘What Land Rover BAR have done is get people aware of what sailing is.

‘Racing will take place in the middle of the Solent and people are entitled to go out on boats and watch the action – as long as they stay clear of racing.

‘The sailing club wants more members, which will mean they are able to benefit others and flourish.’