Your Guide for the America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth

The highly-anticipated America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) returns to Portsmouth’s shores from the 21st through the 24th July, promising to be a world-class spectacle for all to enjoy. Here’s our guide on all that’s happening at the prestigious sailing event, written by locals.

 

The America’s Cup racing

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At the heart of the America’s Cup World Series is the high-speed racing action, featuring AC45 catamarans flying over the Solent, piercing through the waves, and foiling above the water at speeds of up to 40mph (64kmph).

Upwind and downwind markers are set on each day of racing dependent on wind direction. The boats will then slowly race upwind until they reach the upwind marker, before bearing away and heading downwind, rising up onto their impressive foils.

The race teams will tack all the way down to the downwind marker before heading back up again for a second lap. Each race will last less than 30 minutes.

 

Where to watch

The stretch of Southsea seafront from Blue Reef Aquarium to The Pyramids Centre, including Southsea Castle and the West Battery Gardens where Southsea Bandstand is sited, will offer the best views of the racing action. This area is in the paid-for Race Village.

There are also vantage points to the west of Blue Reef Aquarium and east of The Pyramids Centre, which can be accessed for free.

 

The America’s Cup point system

Six teams will be battling it out on the Solent for race points. At the end of the weekend, the team with the most points will be declared the winner of that round of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series.

The challenger will go on to compete against current defender, Team Oracle USA, in the America’s Cup 2017 in Bermuda. They’ll then be fighting for the America’s Cup trophy itself — the winner takes all!

Preview racing takes place on Friday 22nd July, followed by the start of racing proper on Saturday 23rd July. There’ll be three races on Saturday and three races on Sunday.

Each race on Saturday counts for 10 points for the winner, 9 points for second place, etc., but on Sunday, the points double! The winner takes 20 points.

 

Daily schedule

Friday 22nd July

The schedule for the Friday of the America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth is as follows:

  • 11:00am: Race Village opens
  • 11:30am: Dock-Out Show (teams on stage)
  • 12:00pm (noon): Red Arrows Display
  • 12:30pm – 1:00pm: race preparation show
  • 1:00pm – 3:00pm: preview racing
  • 4:00pm: Dock-In Show (sailors on stage)
  • 4:30pm – Après Sail

Saturday 23rd July

The schedule for the Saturday of ACWS Portsmouth comprises:

  • 11:00am: Race Village opens
  • 11:30am: official opening ceremony (teams on main stage)
  • 12:00pm (noon): Blades air display
  • 12:30pm – 1:30pm: race preparation show
  • 1:00pm – 3:00pm: two official races
  • 4:00pm: Dock-In Show (sailors on stage)
  • 4:30pm – 6:00pm: Après Sail

Sunday 24th July

  • 11:00am: Race Village open
  • 11:30am: Dock-Out Show (teams on main stage)
  • 12:00pm (noon): Red Bull Matadors air display
  • 12:30pm – 1:30pm: race preparation show
  • 1:00pm – 3:00pm: two official races
  • 4:00pm: Awards Ceremony (on main stage)
  • 5:00pm – 6:30pm: Après Sail
 

Air Shows

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The high-octane action isn’t just happening on the water — it’s also taking to the skies at 12:00pm noon each day.

Red Arrows

On Friday 22nd July, the world-famous RAF Red Arrows, one of the world’s best aerobatic display teams, will bring their nine distinctive red Hawk jets. They’ll be flying in a tight formation as they fill the sky with plumes of colored smoke and synchronised manoeuvres.

The Blades

On Saturday 23rd July, aerobatic display team The Blades will hold a display with four high-performance planes flown by former RAF fast-jet pilots performing a routine that includes over 30 manoeuvres and features plenty of close-crosses and heart-stopping dives.

Red Bull Matadors

Finally, on Sunday 24th July, the Red Bull Matadors take two modern aerobatic planes above the ACWS action, pushing the limits in a creative show packed with incredible stunts before the America’s Cup racing starts.

 

Discovering state-of-the-art speed machines in the TechZone

The TechZone is a new addition to the ACWS Race Village, and offers spectators the opportunity to meet America’s Cup experts and get the inside information on how their boats fly on the water and reach speeds of over 50mph. The TechZone features:

  • AC45 race boat: take a close-up look at an actual Land Rover BAR AC45 race boat, with experts on hand to take you through the technical details
  • Team members: opportunities to meet members of the Land Rover BAR team and learn all about this amazing sport
  • Sailing simulator: blast through the water with the TechZone’s Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, and find out what sailing and flying on the AC45s is like
  • Pledge area: show your support for Ben’s team in the pledge area
  • Clothing and kit: view the latest team clothing and tech gadgets

And a range of other exciting and intriguing activities.

 

Getting inspired in the BT 100% Sport area

After you’ve discovered the technology behind the America’s Cup World Series racing action in the TechZone, find out how it’s made sustainable in BT’s 100% Sport area.

  • Ac45 wingsail: see and feel sections of the eye-catching wing with experts on hand to explain how it works
  • Foil tips: view full-size foil tips to understand how they make the AC45’s fly out of the water
  • The Power Challenge: how well would you fare in the America’s Cup, where the power is generated entirely by the crew? Try powering the machine the sailors use for fitness training and see if you can beat the sailing team’s scores
  • Learn how BT’s technology is helping Land Rover BAR success in the America’s Cup, whilst also being better for the environment
 

The Love Southsea Market

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Portsmouth street market organiser Love Southsea have partnered with the organisers behind the world’s most prestigious sailing extravaganza, the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, which returns Portsmouth’s shores from 21st July 2016.

Love Southsea will be bringing their signature eclectic mix of local independent traders to the seafront sailing event, offering a diverse and exciting shopping experience for event-goers, and selling their own range of Portsmouth- and Southsea-inspired artwork and clothing.

Other traders in Love Southsea’s large vintage marquee include:

  • Local signmaker Missing Chopper: vintage circus-style signage she creates for homes and businesses — anything from hearts and anchors to custom lettering
  • Pankhurst Gallery: maritime and nautical paintings
  • Funky Beach Art: with his bright and vibrant seaside-inspired pieces
  • Charlotte Cornelius: a Southsea-based designer who creates meticulously-crafted jewellery
  • The Country Clothing Store: Sherwood Forest and Regatta clothing
  • Juliette’s Thread: a broad selection of colorful reworked retro fashion items
  • Spice Island Chilli: homemade chilli sauce inspired by the history of Old Portsmouth
  • BREAD Addiction: freshly-baked sourdough
  • Nature’s Pantry: natural nut and seed butters and sweets

and many more local independent creators.

 

Southsea Skatepark

Portsmouth charity Southsea Skatepark will be putting on a show in the ACWS Race Village, with skateboarders, BMXers, and roller-skaters. Local riders will be on hand to offer thrilling demos and instructions, and the skatepark will also be hosting a roller disco. Their schedule over the Saturday and Sunday of the America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth is as follows:

  • 10:00am – 12:00pm (noon): roller disco
  • 12:15pm – 1:15pm: BMXers, scooters, and roller-bladers
  • 1:3opm – 3:00pm: roller disco
  • 3:15pm – 4:15pm: demonstrations
  • 4:30pm – 5:30pm: Roller Wenches demonstration (roller derby) — a contact sport played by two teams of five members, roller-skating in the same direction around a track
 

Fun things for the kids to do

The North Field area of the Race Village offers interactive and exciting content for all ages, with a variety of exhibitors.

The Royal Navy are bringing a 40ft climbing wall and an offshore raiding craft for children of all ages, and a giant TV screen and deckchairs for parents who want to put their feet up and watch the sailing. Members of the Royal Navy Sailing Association will be on hand to introduce people to grassroots sailing, and career advisors will be present for those who might be interested in a career at sea.

Plus, Portsmouth-based Top Banana Circus will be running circus classes and workshops in the North Field area, teaching youngsters new skills which they can be proud of.

 

Getting to the America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth

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Portsmouth’s intricate network of roads can be tricky to traverse at peak times, especially during huge events like the America’s Cup World Series. We’d recommend visitors arrive either by train into Portsmouth & Southsea Railway Station or The Hard (Portsmouth Harbour), or by parking up at the ACWS Park & Ride and catching a coach down to the seafront.

Park & Ride

There will be a dedicated Park & Ride car park running regular bus services to and from the ACWS Portsmouth event. The car park is easily accessed from the M27 east- and west-bound, and will be signposted as ‘ACWS Park & Ride’.

It’ll be open from 9:00am to 9:00pm on Friday 22nd through Sunday 24th July, with the first bus leaving the car park at 9:00am, and then running round trips at regular intervals throughout each day. The last bus will leave the Race Village at 9:00pm — well after the event closes, so there’ll be plenty of time to explore Southsea and wider Portsmouth.

Park & Ride costs £5.00, and you can either book in advance online through Ticketmaster » or pay cash on the day. If you book in advance online, print your ticket out and bring it with you. The car park is sited at Lakeside North Harbour (PO6 3EN).

Trains

There are regular trains from London Waterloo and London Victoria stations, stopping at Portsmouth & Southsea Railway Station and terminating at Portsmouth Harbour Railway Station.

Alighting a train at The Hard (Portsmouth Harbour) will give you the opportunity to visit the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, home to historic warships HMS Warrior, HMS Victory, and The Mary Rose. The seafront is roughly 15 to 20 minutes from both stations on foot.

Shuttle bus

A dedicated shuttle bus service is being run by First Group, leaving from The Hard (Portsmouth Harbour) and travelling an event-specific route to Avenue de Caen, the road that leads down to Southsea Castle and Race Village entrances.

Tickets for this shuttle bus are £2.00 single/£3.00 return for adults, £1.00 single/£1.50 return for children, and £5.00 return for a family ticket (up to two adults and two children).

The number 1 or number 23 buses also operate between Portsmouth Harbour railway Station and locations a short walk from the Race Village site.

 

Parking

If you’re travelling to Portsmouth by car, you’ll need somewhere to park! Here are some of your options:

Standard parking

There will be a large car park on Southsea Common just a few minutes away from the entrance to the event Race Village. It’l be open from 9:00am through 9:00pm on each day of the event, with a security team on-site during these times.

The route to the parking area will be signposted as ‘pre-booked tickets’ on the day of the event. Book in advance online for £10.00 through Ticketmaster »

Blue badge parking

Provision has been made for accessible parking spaces on Southsea Common. This cannot be pre-booked, but will be made available free of charge, on arrival, to patrons with blue badge parking spaces.

Find out more about accessibility at the event on the ACWS Portsmouth website »

Park & Ride

See the ‘Getting to the America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth’ section above for details on Park & Ride.

Other parking

There are approximately 670 Portsmouth City Council-owned off-street parking spaces available in the centre of the city. Each car park is clearly signed from the motorway network.

 

Following along online

As an official media partner for the America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth, Team Locals Portsmouth will be covering the racing action and everything else that’s happening at the event in real-time, continuously posting content live from the ACWS on our TwitterFacebook, and Instagram. You should also follow the America’s Cup on Twitter for even more live coverage.

 

Listening to the America’s Cup World Series

Once again, local Portsmouth radio station Express FM will be broadcasting exclusive FM radio commentary of the ACWS Portsmouth, covering on-the-water action with minute-by-minute information from their fully-instrumented commentary boat and purpose-built studio at the ACWS media centre.

They’ll be broadcasting on the 93.7FM frequency, and will also provide essential traffic and travel information, safety messages for all boating spectators, and interviews with the teams.