Sailing stars prepare to take flight
Americas Cup World Series at Portsmouth, UK
The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth kicks off on Thursday 23 July.
One of the biggest and most prestigious sporting events in Britain this year, the spectacular four-day competition sees America’s Cup racing back in the Solent for the first time since the inaugural regatta in 1851. Six international teams will compete, in high-speed AC45 catamarans which ‘fly’ several feet above the water on hydrofoils, and the action is expected to be intense.
Oracle Team USA – Photo © Ian Roman / www.ianroman.com
Entries include America’s Cup Defender, Oracle Team USA, skippered by the Cup-winning skipper Jimmy Spithill. Spithill is on the helm, Kyle Langford at wing trim, Tom Slingsby as tactician, Kinley Fowler trimming and Louis Sinclair as bowman.
“There’s a lot of history here. It’s great that there’s such a push from everyone in England to get the Cup back. It’s crazy to hear how excited people are… It definitely gives you a boost when you’re sailing close to the shore and you can hear the crowd cheering you.” Kinley Fowler
Land Rover BAR – Photo © Ian Roman / www.ianroman.com
They will face home team Land Rover BAR, skippered by Sir Ben Ainslie, who will be flying the Union Jack and looking forward to putting on a good show in front of a home crowd, with their team base in Portsmouth. Ben Ainslie will helm. Other sailing team members are Paul Campbell-James, Jono Macbeth, Freddie Carr, Matt Cornwell, Nick Hutton, Giles Scott and Andy McLean.
“As a sailing team, we’re ready to go. It really is the ultimate line-up of sailors and there’s just no way you’re not going to be taking it to the limit. Do I think we can win it? Yes, we can. But I think all the other six teams can as well.” David ‘Freddie’ Carr
Artemis Racing – Photo © Ian Roman / www.ianroman.com
There’s likely to be plenty of British support for Artemis Racing, skippered by GBR’s Iain Percy, in a Swedish-backed team with numerous Olympic gold medallists. Artemis Racing will be helmed by Nathan Outteridge with his 49er crew Iain “Goobs” Jensen on wing trim. Chris Brittle, Freddie Lööf, Paul Goodison and team leader Iain Percy round out the Artemis crew.
“We’ve got an amazingly talented squad with a number of Olympic medals that have all come from a fleet racing background so I think that probably plays into Artemis’s hands. It’ll be exciting to watch. Everybody is focusing all their efforts really strong and hard on getting a result here.. The intensity is ramping up. Everyone wants to win here” Paul Goodison
ETNZ – Photo © Shaun Roster
The hugely popular Emirates Team New Zealand, who came so close to winning the America’s Cup in 2013, will be back with an all-star cast that includes 49er champion Pete Burling skippering. Emirates Team New Zealand has signed up Toyota again as a sponsor, joining Emirates and Omega. Peter Burling will helm with his 49er crew Blair Tuke trimming the wing. Ray Davies will be tactician.
“I think it will be absolutely full-out, I don’t think there will be anyone holding back. This event will effectively be the first foiling fleet race of an America’s Cup World Series – or ever, basically! There could be some different manoeuvres and people trying different things. I think this first event could be one of the most exciting AC45 World Series events ever seen!” Glenn Ashby, Sailing Director at ETNZ
SoftBank Team Japan – Photo © Ian Roman / www.ianroman.com
One of the newest names on the circuit, Softbank Team Japan, has also brought a talented squad skippered by Cup legend Dean Barker (NZL). Softbank Team Japan signed Jero Lomas and Derek Saward, both ex-ETNZ. They will join helmsman Dean Barker, tactician/wing trimmer Chris Draper and bowman Kazuhiko ‘Fuku’ Sofuku.
“In the World Series previously, with the boats non-foiling it was all very exciting. Now with them foiling it’s going to double the excitement level. It will be phenomenal and a lot of fun. “If we know that we’re sailing the boat well and feel fast then we can come away feeling pretty happy.” Dean Barker
Groupama Team France is headed up by the hugely talented Franck Cammas. Team France has now signed Groupama as their title sponsor for the full AC campaign. Franck Cammas will be on the helm in Portsmouth, with Arnaud Psarofaghis as tactician. Joining them on board will be bowman Devan Le Bihan, wing trimmer Thierry Foucher and headsail trimmer Arnaud Jarlegan.
“Groupama Team France is now in full working order to attack the Cup and its competitors, who rank among the best in the world. What drives us is winning the toughest competition, going from one stage to the next and the striving for excellence. In sailing, the apex is the Cup.” Franck Cammas
Programme of events
The sailing action kicks off on Thursday, 23 July with a Parade of Sail. The famous America’s Cup trophy itself will also be paraded through the crowds. Friday, 24 July is known as ‘Fast Friday’, as the teams begin their tune-up races, while the crowds are also entertained by the famous RAF Red Arrows.
On Saturday, 25 July racing things get serious with the first of two point-scoring races that count towards the prestigious America’s Cup World Series. The six AC45Fs will be racing just off the shore at Southsea Common, and are expected to be flying just inches apart. On Sunday, 26 July the final two races take place, to determine the winner of the LV ACWS UK, and there will be no holds-barred between the six hugely competitive skippers.
Visit the Race Village
Enjoy the incredible atmosphere and watch all the action live at the shoreside spectator village on Southsea Common. Due to unprecedented demand, organisers have expanded capacity of the Waterfront Festival Arena ticket, and free day passes are now available on all four days (Thursday 23-Sunday 26). The Waterfront Festival Arena also features a host of family-friendly activities, including hands-on sailing simulators, the America’s Cup cinema experience, the Big Wheel, and much more.
Sport fans wanting the extra special experience should book their place at the Fanzone Arena, with superb views of the AC45F catamarans flying neck-and-neck just metres from the shore, and a host of features on the teams, their sailors, and the amazing technology that goes into an America’s Cup (tickets are still on sale for the Fanzone Arena, although grandstand seating for Saturday and Sunday has now sold out).
For access you must register or purchase tickets: www.ticketmaster.co.uk/ACWSPortsmouth
The pit lane
Don’t forget to take a stroll down to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, where the teams’ technical zones are based in the city’s naval dockyard within HM Naval Base Portsmouth. This is the equivalent of an F1 pit-lane, and a great chance to get up-close to these amazing boats.
If you’re in Portsmouth, grab a copy of the special souvenir Event Programme, with a full guide to the entire weekend, all the runners and riders, key sailing terms explained, and much more. The Programme will be on sale within the Race Arena’s, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
Watch on television
Watch all the races from the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series UK live via BT Sport, the UK Live Host Broadcaster for the 2015-2017 America’s Cup. During the 2015 Portsmouth event BT Sport will be showing all the racing action live on television. The BT Sport presentation team will be Jake Humphreys, Shirley Robertson and Hannah White. The live Race commentary team will be America’s Cup veteran and legendary sailor Ken Read, and host Tucker Thompson.
Then on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 July the BBC will be hosting a half-hour evening highlights show, as well as a special hour-long programme on Monday, 27 July featuring all the highlights from the entire event. The BBC is the UK Highlights Host Broadcaster for the 2015-2017 America’s Cup.
Live Race Radio commentary
You can also listen live to full Race commentary on the radio via Portsmouth
Live Radio on 93.7 fm. Expert sailing commentators from Steve Ancsell & Matt Sheahan will broadcast live each day. Radio coverage begins 30 minutes before racing and will include previews, reviews and interviews throughout the build-up plus a blow-by-blow commentary from out on the race track. Portsmouth Live Radio on 93.7 FM covers the region from Southampton to Chichester or online.
Download the App
There is also an America’s Cup APP – follow your favourite America’s Cup sailors while you’re on the move with all the latest news and photos, as well as up to the minute results from the water. Subscribe to AC+ to unlock special bonus content features. The AC App is available for iOS and Android devices.
Official website: acws-portsmouth.americascup.com
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