America’s Cup Racing, according to an announcement by Sir Keith Mills, is to return to British waters when the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) take place in Portsmouth 23-26 July 2015 and 21–24 July 2016.
The ACWS Portsmouth will be managed by Team Origin Events, a company set up in 2007 by Sir Keith, who has been central to the delivery of some of the United Kingdom’s greatest sporting events, most recently as Deputy Chairman of the London 2012 Olympics and Chairman of ‘Invictus Games’.
“I’m passionate about bringing world-class sporting events to Great Britain, and delighted that America’s Cup World Series racing will be coming to Portsmouth,” said Sir Keith during the launch event in London.
“This will not just be a spectacular sporting event, it will also showcase Portsmouth, the South Coast and Great Britain on a global stage, delivering economic benefit to the City and the sponsors involved. The series will attract huge crowds to watch the exhilarating racing and we plan to give the event a festival feel bringing activities and entertainment for all. Our plans are for more than two action packed long week-ends. We are also putting together a three year activation program running right up until the end of the 35th America’s Cup in 2017. We look forward to delivering a world class sporting event for Great Britain.”
The ACWS is the preliminary race series of the 35th America’s Cup, consisting of eight to ten regattas taking place around the world during 2015 and 2016. All America’s Cup teams will compete in the series and their overall placement will affect the seeding and starting score they take into the America’s Cup Qualifier events in 2017. Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR), the British challenger for the 35th America’s Cup have their home base in Portsmouth.
Team Principal and four-time Olympic gold medallist, Sir Ben Ainslie said: “A key part of BAR’s plans was to bring America’s Cup racing to Great Britain and I would like to thank Sir Keith and his team for making those plans become a reality. The last ACWS was a game changer for the sport of sailing, the racing was entertaining and brought in the crowds. The new foiling AC45s are going to be faster and even more exciting than the previous generation and we promise to provide an event experience like you have never seen before – come and cheer us on!”
This article was republished with permission from the editor and publisher of the Sport Intern, Karl-Heinz Huba.