Sir Ben Ainslie applauds British support at America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth
Sir Ben Ainslie has expressed his delight that British fans came out in such huge numbers to support home team Land Rover BAR as they made a winning start to their 35th America's Cup journey in Portsmouth recently. He says the team used the crowds to spur them on during the two races on 'Big Saturday'.
The Team Principle and Skipper of Land Rover BAR said: "In my sailing career, I've never seen anything like that. The amount of people that came out on the water, on the shore line, supporting the event and supporting us as a home team, all of us as a team were completely blown away."
The event was the first ever America's Cup racing to be held in the Solent since the historic first event back in 1851. The four-day event attracted huge spectator numbers in the event village, which included a free Waterfront Festival Arena packed with family attractions and a Fanzone Arena with live stage appearances from sailing stars, plus some spectacular aerial displays from acrobatic stunt teams.
Planning now starts for 2016 with last month marking the first of two years in which Portsmouth will host the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series with the next year's edition also scheduled to take place in July.
Impressive spectator figures for the first year of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series, Portsmouth
- ·245,460 spectators enjoyed the action over the 4 days in Portsmouth
- 108,329 spectators within the Southsea common event site
- 25,700 spectators on the water
- 111,431 watch the action from the sites around Portsmouth including the Historic Dockyard and Gunwharf Quays
- Big Saturday (25th July) delivers the perfect day with 67,374 spectators onsite, 22,000 on – water and a further 49,067 off site all enjoying the action
The Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series, Portsmouth has revealed significant spectator attendance numbers for last month's event. New milestones were set with spectator attendance reaching close to 250,000 during the four day event, as fans from the local area and around the world travelled to Portsmouth to enjoy the high octane America's Cup action.
Although the weather on Sunday 26th July mean racing was cancelled, the event welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Portsmouth who braved the elements, meeting the teams and attending and presenting the prizes to the competing teams. Earlier in the day, The Duke and Duchess showed their support for the event and the British America's Cup team when they met youngsters from the 1851 Trust, the official charity of Land Rover BAR and the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series, Portsmouth event, which seeks to inspire and engage a new generation through sailing and the marine industry.
Sir Keith Mills, Chairman Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series, Portsmouth said:
"On behalf of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series, Portsmouth, we would like to thank all the spectators that came from around the world to be part of this iconic sailing event. Despite the weather, the event delivered and the Saturday was a particular highlight, with over 60,000 people visiting the on-land spectator arena and over 22,000 watching the action from the water. The America's Cup teams delivered spectacular racing on the water and with home team Land Rover BAR winning the event making it extra special"
Sir Keith added. "In addition to the amazing atmosphere created by the spectators, the feedback from our corporate partners and the media in attendance has been very positive, this is despite losing an event day due to the extreme weather on Sunday 26th July. We will be providing a full event economic and media impact report by the end of August to highlight the benefits of the event to the Portsmouth area and the initial results are hugely positive reading. We are now straight into planning mode for next year's event, scheduled to be held between 21st and 24th July 2016, and there is little doubt that this event is now a must-attend event on the British sporting calendar"
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