The America’s Cup is one of the oldest sporting competitions in the world and is certainly considered the holy grail of sailing.
Beginning in 1851 when a plucky schooner from across the pond called ‘America’ came to the Solent and defeated Britain’s proud sailors, the cup was awarded on the proviso it remain a perpetual challenge cup.
In 1983 the Louis Vuitton Cup was established in order to accommodate more than one challenger at a time and served as a preliminary competition to decide who would eventually challenge for the cup.
It allowed a wider range of participation, more action and an opportunity to push and test yacht technology to the limit in competition.
The World Series was introduced in the 2013 cup cycle as a further preliminary step and returns this time ahead of qualifiers, playoffs and the America’s Cup match itself in Bermuda next year.
This gives all of the challengers an opportunity to stage a regatta in their home nation, practice, compete and gather data about their foiling AC45s and to gain points for seeding ahead of the qualifiers and playoffs.
Land Rover BAR
The new kids on the block, led by Britain’s most decorated Olympic sailor Sir Ben Ainslie, who was part of Oracle Team USA’s epic comeback in 2013. Ainslie is determined to bring the cup back to Britain.
Oracle Team USA
Skippered by the revered Jimmy Spithill and owned by veteran campaigner Larry Ellison. After staging the greatest comeback in sporting history in the 2013 final, they’ll be hoping things don’t get so close this time.
Emirates Team New Zealand
The Kiwis have been a fixture in the cup since 1987 (bar 2010). Two times holders and three time Louis Vuitton Cup winner, always one to watch.
Groupama Team France
Having contested several times but never winning outright could this be France’s time ? Led by French sailing heroes Franck Camma, Michel Desjoyeaux and Olivier de Kersauson they certainly have the pedigree.
The heritage and success of countless successful America’s Cup and Olympic sailing campaigns among the team and staff now comprising Artemis is impressive, you can’t write off the Swedish team.
Softbank Team Japan
Late to the party but skippered by experienced Kiwi Dean Barker and representing the pride of the Kansai Yacht Club, one of the oldest and most active yacht clubs in Japan.
There will be three days sailing over the weekend with a mix of fleet and match racing competitions. Friday will feature preview racing while, Saturday and Sunday will be the main events. There will be double points up for grabs on Sunday, which could really make or break who wins the regatta.
Off the water there will also be plenty to see and do;
- Every day the teams will take part in ‘Dock in’ and ‘Dock Out’ shows, where you’ll be able to get their thoughts pre and post-race on the decisions made and why. Every team will also have a base inside the race village so pop in to get a ‘sailfe’ with the world’s top sailors.
- The Tech-Zone will show feature experts on hand to answer questions, as well as an actual Land Rover BAR AC45 for people to get up close and personal with. There will be an Oculus Rift 3D simulator so people can get close to feeling how these cats fly and the BT 100% Sport area will display wing sails, foil tips a Power Challenge and displaying how much BT equipment is helping Land Rover BAR
- Aerial displays from the Red Arrows on Friday 22nd, The Blades on Saturday and the Red Bull Matadors on Sunday.
- For the kids there will be Top Banana Circus workshops on juggling, tight wire and clowning or take on the Royal Navy’s climbing wall challenge.
- The Southsea Skate Park will play host to the Red Bull BMX Team, roller discos and opportunities to have a go.
To find out more visit America's Cup Portsmouth offical page.
To find out how you could enjoy it with Sunsail as an official charter partner go to https://www.sunsail.co.uk/events/americas-cup