Brits Going Bonkers for America’s Cup World Series
Published on July 25th, 2015
by Ellen Hoke
Portsmouth, UK (July 25, 2015) – To simply say that today the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series started would be an understatement. The bigger picture is that it is now game on for the 35th America’s Cup and sailing fans have been showing up in Portsmouth in massive numbers for the last several days to show their support.
Hotels and restaurants are booked. Signage about the event is everywhere in town. And even yesterday in the pouring rain, crowds of fans have shown up to catch a glimpse of the foiling AC45s.
Today, with the first official day of racing, the shores were filled almost to capacity and on the water the race course was lined on both sides by what radio announcers described as a spectator fleet they had not seen since the days of the Whitbread Race. It was impressive to see so many boats on the water for this event.
I had the great honor be in the midst of the biggest home team fans as I was invited on board the Land Rover BAR Friends and Family boat. I couldn’t imagine a better place to be in Portsmouth for the first day of racing for the 35th America’s Cup.
During race one the cheers on board erupted when Land Rover BAR took the lead over ETNZ. These cheers became deafening as Land Rover BAR was the first boat to cross the finish line of the first race of the series that will ultimately determine who will take on Oracle Team USA in the 35th America’s Cup. Everyone on board the boat I was on must believe that Sir Ben Ainslie plans to be true to his word with his goal to bring the Cup “home” to the United Kingdom.
During race two the mood was a little more subdued, but still incredibly energetic with Land Rover BAR taking second in race two, but first overall after the first day of racing.
The city of Portsmouth has done a tremendous job in creating a wonderful festival on shore with food, beverages (like Gosling’s Dark & Stormies, Guinness trucks), activities and multiple bands performing tonight on the main stage with Sp Ballet as the headliner for tonight’s concert.
If you are in Portsmouth, it is difficult to not join in the fun and festivities of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series.
Looking forward to day two of racing and the rest of the America’s Cup World Series.
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Photos by Ellen Hoke.