The America’s Cup World Series is the first stage of competition for the 35th America’s Cup and begins this Thursday in Portsmouth. Featuring all of the America’s Cup teams racing in foiling, one-design AC45 catamarans, featuring the best sailors in the world. Overall ranking position in the America’s Cup World Series determines the starting points score of the teams in the America’s Cup. The event culminates in the America’s Cup (Finals) in 2017 in Bermuda.
The racing will consist of two races per day on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 July with a practice race day on Friday 24 July. The racing on ‘Super Sunday’ will count for more points. Points collected in the America’s Cup World Series will count towards the America’s Cup Challenger Series held in 2017, which will determine the Challenger for the America’s Cup.
The Challenger will go on to compete against current Defender – Team Oracle USA – in the America’s Cup in Bermuda in 2017. Competing for the trophy that is the America’s Cup, winner takes all.
Racing for the Portsmouth event will take place in front of Southsea Common, just metres away from the shore. The race course will be dependent on the wind direction on each race day and will be refined and published closer to the event in the light of forecast winds. The race course and racing buoys will be laid on each day of racing by the official authorities and the final layout of the course will depend on wind and weather conditions.
Over the four day event there will be lots going on, both on the shore, the sea and in the air.Thursday is all about a series of ‘firsts’, hence why we’ve called it ‘First Thursday’. It’s also the first day of school holidays for everyone: ‘Schools out – summer’s here!’
The WATERFRONT FESTIVAL ARENA takes up the majority of Southsea Common and is a free-to-view area where spectators will find a full programme of family friendly activities. A large hosted stage, big screens, local bands, food and beverage concessions, an array of exhibits and displays and a prime view of the on water action.
Thursday the Race Village opens on Southsea Common and the America’s Cup ‘trophy’ arrives in style at 11:00 hrs.
There will be Moth racing & kitesurfing displays and the Official Parade of Sail leaves the Royal Navy base & escorts the race fleet out to the race course area in front of the race village on Southsea Common with exhibition sailing by the America’s Cup race teams between 13:00 and 14:30 hrs.
The Skippers come ashore and there will be an Official press conference and presentation of skippers in Fanzone Arena.
‘Fast Friday’ focuses on ‘speed’ – everything is flying at full-pelt, from the race boats to the Red Arrows, with lots of thrills, spills and drama in store.
The Red Arrows display from 12:00 hrs and the race boats leave the Royal Navy base and are escorted to the race course area in front of the race village on Southsea Common.
There will be race boats tuning up before practice racing with live MC commentary and then America’s Cup practice starts and two practice races from 13:30 hrs.
Evening programme opens at 19:15 hrs with the South Coast Proms concert featuring The Massed Bands of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines.
‘Big Saturday’ says it all – today is the day the sailing gets serious, and points are won or lost. This is when the official racing of the 35th America’s Cup kicks off! As with the other days, the programme is action-packed for both the day and evening!
In the morning there wll be an RNLI helicopter display at 10:30 hrs, Moth racing and kitesurfing displays and a Red Bull Matador air display at 12:00 hrs.
The first two official America’s Cup races will take place, starting from 13:30 hrs followed by the Blades air display and the Evening programme opens with Portsmouth Live! The Saturday day concert featuring Spandau Ballet, Wet Wet Wet, McBusted and Carly Rae Jepsen.
‘Super Sunday’ is guaranteed to be a fantastic finale to the event, as the overall winner is decided in some nail-biting, double points racing. As ever there is a full programme of entertainment on shore and on the water, followed by an amazing prizegiving gala to round off proceedings.
In the morning there wll be an RNLI helicopter display at 10:30 hrs, Moth racing and kitesurfing displays and the Trig aerial display at 12:00 hrs.
The final two official America’s Cup races will take place, starting from 13:30 hrs, with a gala prizeging after the races on the main stage in the Waterfront Festival Arena.