Old Portsmouth team ‘amazingly excited’ by challenge

David 'Freddie' Carr   Picture: Mark Lloyd
David 'Freddie' Carr Picture: Mark Lloyd
Have your say

Each of the six international teams competing in the 35th cycle of the America’s Cup World Series are looking forward to today’s launch in the Solent.

But for the home team, who will be flying the Union Jack at the first America’s Cup racing to be held in British waters since 1851, it is an ‘amazingly exciting’ time.

David ‘Freddie’ Carr, who will be sailing on the bow of Old Portsmouth-based Land Rover BAR, said: ‘It’s unbelievable.

‘A few of us have been doing America’s Cups for a while now but effectively have been a little bit mercenary sailing for foreign countries.

‘To collect all our talent pool of British sailors, British designers and shore crew together, to have a really strong challenge under the Union Jack is something we’re all super excited about.

‘And then to have the first event here in Portsmouth and see how not only the sailing fans are getting behind it but the wider British sporting enthusiast is getting into it.

‘We’re just amazingly excited about it.’

For the people of Portsmouth, the Land Rover BAR sailors have become the familiar faces of the America’s Cup World Series.

Carr said: ‘There’s a buzz about the event for sure.

‘We’re in our new base in Old Portsmouth now and we’re out and about, running on the seafront and people come up and talk to us.

‘They start conversations with us about the sailing, which I’ve never had before in my life apart from in Auckland, and it’s happening in Portsmouth.

‘People are understanding the sailing, they’re understanding the event that’s coming here.

‘They are grasping the magnitude of it and how big it could be for the city in years to come.’

Carr, though, has dismissed the suggestion a huge home crowd will mean added pressure to perform.

He said: ‘I wouldn’t say I feel added pressure.

‘I would if I didn’t think we were ready.

‘But our sailing team manager Jono Macbeth and our coach Rob Wilson have done a really good job of structuring the last two months and I think as a squad, as a sailing team, we’re ready to go.

‘We are champing at the bit!’

And Carr believes the Portsmouth racecourse ticks all of the boxes.

He said: ‘It does exactly what we want the America’s Cup to do right now.

‘It brings these amazing boats that sail round at 45 to 50mph and puts them 100m off the beach, so people get to enjoy it.’