America's Cup w/ logos

America's Cup

Sunsail becomes Official Charter Partner

Sunsail has been named as an official charter partner for the upcoming Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth from 22-24 July 2016.

The biggest event in sailing and one of the world’s oldest sporting competitions will come to Southsea Common, close to Sunsail’s UK base in Port Solent, offering a rare chance for chance for UK to play host to an event born on these shores over 150 years ago.

The latest leg in the series will see the UK’s most decorated Olympic Sailor, Ben Ainslie lead the  Land Rover BAR racing team against Artemis Racing, Emirates Team New Zealand, Oracle Team USA, Groupama Team France and SoftBank Team Japan.

With all teams on a quest for a chance to race for the Cup they will push their yachts to the limit. Racing at speeds of up to 42 mph, their innovative, aerodynamic, multi-hull yachts, propelled by giant sails and hi-tech hydrofoils, will practically fly out of the water.

Spectators can expect daily racing, aerial displays from the Red Arrows and others, as well as a fully equipped Race Village. Here, spectators will be able to enjoy interactive exhibits giving them a chance to get close to the teams and their technology, as well as a view to the action in comfort.  

Sunsail’s General Manager Scott Farquharson says: “It’s great to be on board, supporting America's Cup World Series Portsmouth for what is deemed to be the most exciting event in the UK this summer. What’s not to love about watching the fastest boats on water compete from a prime position, supporting the British Team in their home waters for the final time before heading overseas?”

Come sea or land, we will be there. Visit our Sunsail stand in the race village near the ‘Techzone’ and enter the competition for a chance to win a host of prizes.

Sunsail are offering full hospitality packages on both sail and powerboats from just £2,495 + VAT per boat. The packages include all professional crew and catering required for a fantastic day on the water to watch the action.  

We are also offering a full corporate hospitality package on both sail and power boats, which includes professional crew, breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea. Extras such as champagne receptions and team clothing can be added on. Prices start at just £2495 + VAT for a full day on the water.

For further details about these packages, please find our full contact details at the end of this article.


To add to the experience, Sam Park, Team Sunsail interviewed Leslie Greenhalgh, Event Director, Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series to find out more about the event

Q: What attracts people to this event? Can it be compared to Formula one?

A: Any significant world class sporting event always attracts the masses. Like formula 1, this event combines technology, speed, adrenaline, competition but also the human factor - the athletes, the teams, the buzz - it differs a little from f1 in that it is all about the ‘sea’, a very natural environment and a great chance for people to have a ‘Great British Day Out'


Q: Where do you think the America’s Cup is going?

A: The AC event has been around since 1851 - 165 years - and has always been a majestic and somewhat unique event. The winner takes all - gets to own and run the next competition cycle, bring it to their own country and make it their own and that is something unique in sport. Whilst we have seen significant changes in the boats from 2010 to 2013 with the introduction of high speed flying multihulls, the ac has always been a combination of technology and human skill - and that will continue. The roadshow of event (ac world series) ensure the events can travel the world and I think that series is proving a huge success and is set to grow which helps to expand the following and general interest as well as sponsor and commercial value of the sport


Q: Can you tell us a bit more about the technology that goes into the boats? 

A: The boats use the latest technology that make them the fastest race boats on the water. This technology revolves around the foils that lift the entire boat, weighing over 1.5 ton, with the crew on board, out of the water. This dramatically reduces the drag of the boat, as it is only in contact with the water through the foils. The foils are no more than 450mm wide and this allows top speeds of up to 35 knots (40 mph). The power to do this is generated by the wing sail (identical to the wing of an aeroplane but vertical) it towers 20 metres above the boat and is what differentiates this boat from any other racing boat. The timing of these enormously powerful rigs are handled by the 5 man crew on board.


Q: After the success of last year’s America’s Cup in Portsmouth, what have we got to look forward to for this year?

A: A bit more of the same and hopefully better and some great new features. In 2016 the event will feel more ‘world class sport’ and more focus on the sailing element. A new feature ‘Techzone’ with full ac boat, sections of wing sail and foils, games and challenges to interact with, team exhibits and lots more. The race boats will moor up outside the new race village to provide a thrilling backdrop to the action. 3 public days from 1100 until 1800 hrs of live show and thrills and spills for all to enjoy


Q: What do you think it means to Portsmouth as a city and especially the local sailing community to be hosting this leg of the AC?

A: We saw the value of the event in 2015 - in factual terms £9m of economic impacts and £18m media value in the UK alone - and 47% of that economic impact was delivered to Portsmouth. So a huge tangible impact but also the pride and profile for the city across the thousands of new visitors and global TV coverage. Hosting an event for the 2nd time always delivers enhanced benefits - more value and more profile as people are simply more aware. For the sailing community it’s a great opportunity to see this event and spectacle close up - we have never seen anything like this before in the UK - the chance to come and support the home team of land rover bar on their journey to bring the cup back to Great Britain


Q: What is the legacy potential for the sailing industry in Britain thanks to the AC?

A: The 1851 trust are working with the RYA and a number of other sailing related charities to bring more people into the sport, to deliver first time opportunities and increase the facilities available to a much wider audience. Our partnership with Travis Perkins allows up to a 1000 kids this summer to take part in the ‘Portsmouth sailing project’ sailing opportunities and there are a number of further plans yet to be announced in this field


Q: Aside from the racing, what are your recommendations for things to see and do during their stay? What simply shouldn’t be missed?

A: Well make sure you plan your trip so that you enjoy the event as well as everything the city of Portsmouth has to offer. Ideally come by train for ease of travel experience (and more sustainable!) And take in historic dockyard, spinnaker tower, Gun Wharf Quays on the way to the event which starts at 1100 - all within walking distance of each other. The dock out shows kick off at 1130, the aerial display each day at 1200 and racing action between 1330 and 1500, followed by post racing sailor engagements and a chill out Après Sail DJ set - something for everyone!

Last chance to come and support the British team competing in their home waters, so don't miss out and email for more information.

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