Louis Vuitton Amercias Cup World Series, Portsmouth, UK, 21.-
An action packed first day of practice racing kicked off yesterday morning (Friday) with thousands of visitors flocking to enjoy a day of interactive and exciting fun in the Race Village. The crowds then watched the six elite sailing teams taking part in the practice races just metres away from them on the Solent.
Land Rover BAR had a visit from HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, as Prince Phillip enjoyed a tour of their base and met with Sir Keith Mills, Chairman of TEAMORIGIN, organisers of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Portsmouth and key personnel from Land Rover BAR. The Duke then ventured out on to the water to meet with Sir Ben and the team.
More than 200 children visited the Race Village with the Charity '1851 Trust' for a day of games, challenges and activities. The children from the local community were invited to spend the day at the event as part of the charity's drive to enable young people from a variety of backgrounds to engage with sailing and the marine industry. The children enjoyed making boats out of recyclable items, gutter boat racing and using interactive equipment to learn more about the technology behind sailing.
The afternoon began with a flying start thanks to the Red Arrows, who put on a spectacular display for the crowds. The next two days Saturday and Sunday of the event will also see aerial displays at 12pm, with the Blades on Saturday and the Red Bull Matadors on Sunday.
Sir Ben Ainslie, Principal and Skipper of Land Rover BAR said: "It's awesome for us as competitors to race in front of our home crowd, our home city, Portsmouth; it's what it's all about. It's awesome to see so many people already turning out and the weather looks great for this weekend. We really want to put on a good show."
The official practice races started soon after the Red Arrows and Team Land Rover BAR was triumphant in the first two races delivering on his earlier promise to "put on a good show" for the home crowds. At the post-
Paul 'CJ' Campbell-
Softbank Team Japan won Race Three with Land Rover BAR taking a solid third place. Dean Barker, skipper of Softbank Team Japan, said: "Last year the crowds that turned up on the Saturday were just unbelievable. It seems the momentum is starting to build around BAR and the America's Cup being here, so I think it's going to be huge tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to it."
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