Figures have been released showing that 130,000 people engaged with the four-day America’s Cup event in Portsmouth and watched Sir Ben Ainslie and his home team Land Rover BAR take victory.
This was the second year the event was held in Portsmouth and the organisers say that feedback from residents, visiting fans, exhibitors, competing teams and commercial partners has deemed the event a huge success.
Sir Ben Ainslie, team principal and skipper, Land Rover BAR said, “It’s brilliant for us as the home team to win again in front of our home crowd.
“Personally, it was a special moment in my sailing career and I have never seen crowds like that at a sailing event. The amount of people that came out on the water, on the shore line and in the Race Village to support the event completely blew us away.”
The four-day show, with three days open to public and one preview day, in the paid-ticketed Race Village, attracted numbers of 36,234.
Entertainment included interactive family attractions, a live stage show with appearances from the six America’s Cup sailing stars, daily spectacular aerial displays plus the best views of the America’s Cup action.
On the water an armada of over 3,000 supporting vessels and an estimated 34,927 on water spectators lined the racecourse to watch the racing unfold and on land outside of the Race Village over 60,000 fans enjoyed the spectacle from along the seafront and sites in and around Portsmouth.
Sir Keith Mills, Chairman, Teamorigin Events, host organisers said, “This has been a remarkable event with spectators witnessing outstanding action on the water. Major sporting events have the power to regenerate areas, boost economic output and are hugely positive for sport itself and I’m therefore delighted to have had the opportunity to bring the America’s Cup and the world’s best sailors to Britain. We are proud to have hosted the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth for consecutive years and we would like to thank all the spectators for coming out and supporting the event – they created a unique atmosphere and made the event a great spectacle.”
Cllr Donna Jones, Leader of Portsmouth City Council outlined the benefits to Portsmouth: “The city has hosted an exceptional event and, with temperatures soaring, teams and visitors were given the warmest welcome. Land Rover BAR has made Portsmouth their home and it’s fantastic to see so many spectators get behind the home team.
“We recognise the positive impact events of this kind have and supporting associated businesses because the long-term regeneration benefits are massive. High profile events such as the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series showcase what an amazing city Portsmouth is and why we’re alongside other international locations hosting this event. Residents should quite rightly feel proud of their city.”
For British fans, this was the last chance to support Sir Ben Ainslie and Land Rover BAR team on home waters before next year’s America’s Cup in Bermuda.
Sir Ben Ainslie added, “It meant a huge amount to us to perform well in front of our home crowd and I cannot tell you how proud I am of the team that we have got as far as we have in the space of time we have had.
“Two years ago Land Rover BAR did not exist and now we are beating established teams. We have an incredible state-of-the-art base in Portsmouth and over 130,000 people turning out to cheer us on at our home regatta.
“The event was an incredible success with great racing and a great atmosphere and one can imagine what it would be like if we were able to win the actual America’s Cup next June in Bermuda and bring it home to Great Britain for the first time since 1851.”
The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series action now moves on to Toulon, France in September, followed by Fukuoka, Japan in November before the final of the America’s Cup in Bermuda next year.