The final day of official racing action at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth saw thousands of people watching the six competing sailing teams battle it out on the Solent waters for the winning title, which was triumphantly grasped by home team Land Rover BAR.
Cheers erupted along Southsea seafront as Sir Ben Ainslie and his team took lead of this series, and the overall lead of the 35th America’s Cup.
Double points were up for grabs for all three of today’s races. Land Rover BAR took to first place in the first race, and then came second in the second and third races, beaten on both latter races by Oracle Team USA.
David ‘Freddie’ Carr, team grinder/bowman for Land Rover BAR, said: “This is mind-blowing, I think half my local town is here. The support is amazing, thank you so much!”
Watching the racing action unfold were Royal guests, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who also joined the six competing teams on the Race Village stage after the final race to present trophies and medals to each sailor. Large bottles of Moët were cracked open and sprayed over the crowds in celebration.
Taking to the stage with his teammates to accept the winning trophy, which was designed by local lad Zak Kay (aged 10), Sir Ben said: “It is a great result in front of the home crowd.
“It was a real teamwork day — these boats are really hard to handle on such a short course. The guys did an incredible job with the boat handling and that’s what really got us out of some of the tough situations.
“Full credit to the team and everyone back at the Camber at the base, we’ve got a hundred-odd people there, designing and building boats and components for the Cup next year, and I think it’s a big moment for them as well to know that we can go out and win.
“It’s amazing for Portsmouth to have these events [in 2015 and 2016]. The ultimate goal is to bring the America’s Cup back here. It’s going to be a great event in Bermuda next year and we’ll be giving it everything.”
After a calmer, sunnier Sunday, higher winds made for even more exhilarating edge-of-the-seat moments, with a few near-capsizes and plenty of high-speed foiling, as the boats sliced through the air above the water.
The results of the America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth are as follows:
- First: Land Rover BAR with 82 points
- Second: Oracle Team USA with 81 points
- Third: SoftBank Team Japan with 69 points
- Fourth: Emirates Team New Zealand with 62 points
- Fifth: Groupama Team France with 58 points
- Sixth: Artemis Racing with 53 points
And the overall standings of the 35th America’s Cup World Series are:
- First; Land Rover BAR with 367 points
- Second: Oracle Team USA with 366 points
- Third: Emirates Team New Zealand with 357 points
- Fourth: SoftBank Team Japan with 328 points
- Fifth: Artemis Racing with 315 points
- Sixth: Groupama Team France with 292 points
The America’s Cup World Series action now moves on to Toulon, France in September, Fukuoka, Japan in November, and then the final of the America’s Cup in Bermuda next year.