British sailing great Ben Ainslie has told sports fans to expect an "experience like you have never seen before" after it was announced on Tuesday (Nov 25) that Portsmouth would stage two of the preparation races for the 2017 America's Cup.
LONDON: British sailing great Ben Ainslie has told sports fans to expect an "experience like you have never seen before" after it was announced on Tuesday (Nov 25) that Portsmouth would stage two of the preparation races for the 2017 America's Cup.
Portsmouth, the home of Britain's Royal Navy, will stage America's Cup World Series (ACWS) events in July 2015 and July 2016, the events estimated to be worth up to £60 million (US$94 million, €76 million) to the English south coast city.
Ainslie has chosen to base his team, Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR), in Portsmouth in preparation for a tilt at challenging holders Oracle Team USA for the America's Cup in 2017.
"The last ACWS was a game changer for the sport of sailing, the racing was entertaining and brought in the crowds," Ainslie said Tuesday. "The new foiling AC45s (yachts) 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," added Ainslie who helped Oracle pull off a remarkable fight back to win the America's Cup last year.
Keith Mills, the deputy chairman of the organising committee of the London 2012 Olympic Games and the founder of TEAMORIGIN Events which will manage the races in Portsmouth said: "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.
"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."
He added: "Our plans are for more than two action-packed long weekends. We are also putting together a three-year activation programme 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."
Although the America's Cup started in 1851 with a race on the waters around the Isle of Wight, near Portsmouth but off the south coast of the English mainland, no British team has ever won the oldest major trophy in international sport.