Crowds inspire teams ahead of America's Cup racing

PROUDLY waving their team colours, America's Cup competitors welcomed crowds in the Race Village ahead of racing in the Solent.

Saturday, 23rd July 2016, 6:01 am
From left, Louise Taylor, Alan Sim and Catherine Dunford from Chichester Picture Ian Hargreaves (160985-9)

Teams got on a stage in the event arena, on Castle Field, to answer questions about the occasion and their preparations ahead of the competitive action.

Though yesterday’s races were just practice runs before today’s racing for points, the elite sailors said they were focused on putting on a great show and were determined to win.

Spectators cheered on the teams before they then made their way out on the water.

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Afterwards, there was a dock-out show where teams signed autographs and children got to get up on stage and say who their favourite sailors were (with Sir Ben Ainslie being the favourite).

Teams at a press briefing after the races said the race course was ‘challenging’ given the current and low winds, but they were delighted to see the sun out.

Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill said: ‘It was great to see the sunshine, which was a surprise.’

Francesco Bruni, of Swedish challengers Artemis Racing, said he would be seeking to improve today.

He said: ‘It was a hard day for me personally and the team.’