Portsmouth to host two years of spectacular America’s Cup World Series Racing
Sir Keith Mills GBE announced that America’s Cup Racing is to return to British waters when the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) takes place in Portsmouth 23-26 July 2015 and 21–24 July 2016.
Sir Keith has been central to the delivery of some of the UK’s greatest sporting events, most recently as Deputy Chairman of London 2012 and Chairman of ‘Invictus Games’. The ACWS Portsmouth will be managed by TEAMORIGIN Events, a company set up by Sir Keith Mills in 2007.
Speaking during this morning’s launch event at London’s OXO Tower, Sir Keith said:
"I’m passionate about bringing world-class sporting events to Great Britain, and delighted that America’s Cup World Series racing will be coming to Portsmouth. This will not just be a spectacular sporting event, it will also showcase Portsmouth, the South Coast and Great Britain on a global stage, delivering economic benefit to the City and the sponsors involved. The series will attract huge crowds to watch the exhilarating racing and we plan to give the event a festival feel bringing activities and entertainment for all.
“Our plans are for more than two action packed long week-ends. We are also putting together a three year activation programme running right up until the end of the 35th America’s Cup in 2017. We look forward to delivering a world class sporting event for Great Britain.”
Sir Ben Ainslie and Sir Keith Mills
The ACWS is the preliminary race series of the 35th America’s Cup, consisting of eight to ten regattas taking place around the world during 2015 and 2016. All America’s Cup teams will compete in the series and their overall placement will affect the seeding and starting score they take into the America’s Cup Qualifier events in 2017.
“The America’s Cup World Series events in Portsmouth in 2015 and 2016 are an opportunity for British fans to watch world class America’s Cup teams compete and of course support Ben Ainslie Racing as they compete on home waters,” said Harvey Schiller, the Commercial Commissioner of the America’s Cup. “I know Ben joins all the competitors in their goal to bring the America’s Cup back to their home country and racing in the America’s Cup World Series is a first step towards that end.”
Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) is the British challenger for the 35th America’s Cup, and have their home base in Portsmouth. Team Principal and four-time Olympic gold medallist, Sir Ben Ainslie said:
“A key part of BAR’s plans was to bring America’s Cup racing to Great Britain and I would like to thank Sir Keith and his team for making those plans become a reality. The last ACWS was a game changer for the sport of sailing, the racing was entertaining and brought in the crowds. The new foiling AC45s are going to be faster and even more exciting than the previous generation and we promise to provide an event experience like you have never seen before – come and cheer us on!”
The City of Portsmouth has a significant role to play and the event will encompass most of the City’s existing visitor destinations including HMS Warrior and Victory, the Mary Rose Museum, the Spinnaker Tower, Gunwharf Quays and Southsea Common. Spectators will enjoy three days of racing, including practice racing on the Friday and then two races on Saturday and two races on ‘Super Sunday Final’.
ACWS Portsmouth Launch
Speaking at the launch, The Leader of Portsmouth Council Cllr Donna Jones said:
“We’re delighted to welcome America’s Cup World Series Racing to Portsmouth for the next two years. Portsmouth enjoys its esteemed maritime history and BAR bringing their base to the City has already brought a great sense of anticipation. The ACWS has a proven record of attracting huge spectator numbers to competing venues, and it will provide a massive boost to our marine and maritime industry and bring economic benefit to Portsmouth. We welcome visitors from everywhere to watch the world-class sailing, and support Ben Ainslie Racing on home waters.”
The events will be funded by a combination of private investment, sponsorship, suppliers and media partnerships. Previous ACWS events have been commercially successful and the ambition is to grow the value of the events by offering sponsors branding and visibility, media impact, hospitality for clients and employees, and tickets for public entertainment.
Speaking at the launch, BAR Chairman Sir Charles Dunstone outlined the commercial opportunities of the ACWS in Portsmouth:
"Sport is big business. The last America’s Cup saw more than 150 companies involved in significant sponsorships or supplier partnerships with the event or competing teams. The last time the ACWS came to Britain was Plymouth in 2011 and we saw 150,000 live spectators and the economic value and media impact of the event was estimated at £60m. By securing the commercial and marketing rights of these events we can offer a wider and more diverse range of opportunities to businesses and media to get involved, generate value and gain benefit from what will be an incredible sporting spectacle."
One of the key objectives of the organisers of ACWS Portsmouth will be to bring the action to the public with ‘free-to-view’ areas in the Race Village where spectators can enjoy the atmosphere, and watch the racing. There will also be additional opportunities to buy tickets for specific attractions, prime seating areas, exhibitions and hospitality. Further ticketing information will be released in the New Year.
The count down to the 2015 ACWS Portsmouth has started, for more information: visit www.teamorigin.com
America’s Cup World Series Team
Chairman - Sir Keith Mills
Event Director - Leslie Greenhalgh
Racing Director - Rob Andrews
Operations Director - Jeremy Troughton
Commercial Director - Emma Kettle
Event Co-Ordinator - Charlotte Harmer
America’s Cup World Series
The America’s Cup World Series is a premier racing circuit that forms part of the 35th America’s Cup programme. The series which will take place during 2015 and 2016 and will feature the best sailors in the world competing on AC45’s – 45 foot foiling catamarans. The circuit will travel to a number of locations around the world over the two years.
The concept of America’s Cup World Series events was introduced during the 34th America’s Cup and 9 events were held between 2011 and 2013 in a number of global locations. The impact was significant and the global circuit allowed for a much larger number of fans, media and businesses to get involved, see the racing and onshore action close up and increased the profile and scope of the events.
America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth
ACWS Portsmouth events will be managed and delivered by ‘TEAMORIGIN Events’, a division of TEAMORIGIN LLP, a company set up and chaired by Sir Keith Mills, GBE, in 2007 when he originally set his sights on bringing the America’s Cup back to Great Britain where it all started.
Sir Keith is a shareholder and investor in BEN AINSLIE RACING and has taken on the responsibility of hosting and delivering the ACWS events in Portsmouth in 2015 and 2016, to support BAR and allow Sir Ben and his team to focus on their job of winning the America’s Cup, and also with the key objective of bringing these world class events to Great Britain.
Event Partners & Stakeholders
Key Supporting partners to the event so far include:
Portsmouth City Council