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Traders count the cost of low attendance at America's Cup

After months of planning and anticipation, yesterday's dreadful weather may have scuppered the sailing - but the America's Cup World Series was far from a washout - according to organisers.

Plans are already underway to bring the sailing spectacular back to Portsmouth next year - with Ben Ainslie saying that Saturday's racing in front of the home crowd was the most amazing day of his sailing career.

However, organisers are counting the cost of the event - with only HALF the expected 500,000 spectators attending. Seafront attractions, and traders who paid to be on the seafront, say they lost out. Richard Jones reports.

Southsea businesses hit out at America's Cup trade

Businesses on Southsea seafront have criticised the organisers of the America's Cup saying their businesses suffered a dramatic drop in trade.

The Blue Reef Aquarium is among those who say access to the seafront and parking was blocked by obstructive barriers.

Some companies are also suggesting that stewards were giving out the wrong information to potential customers.

High winds yesterday meant the event had to be cancelled but Gunwharf Quays says despite the bad weather it saw a boost in customers.

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VIDEO: Duke and Duchess in Portsmouth as America's Cup washed out

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were in Portsmouth today to watch America's Cup racing .

But high winds meant that Day two of the world series had to be cancelled.

The Royal couple took a tour of the British team base instead. Sally Simmonds was there, and spoke exclusively to Sir Ben Ainslie

BREAKING - William and Kate see America's Cup visit blown off course

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's day supporting sailor Sir Ben Ainslie and his crew in the America's Cup World Series was blown off course by bad weather.

Parts of William and Kate's itinerary had to cancelled and new venues found for other events after heavy rain and blustery conditions swept into Portsmouth.

The Duchess arrives at the Royal Navy Historic Dockyard Credit: PA
All smiles despite the rain Credit: PA

Sir Ben, the most successful sailor in Olympic history, is due to skipper his team on the second day of the opening leg of the World Series but it's been confirmed that racing has been abandoned for the day.

After being forced to return to dry land, Sir Ben said: "The English summer, you just can't count on it.

The Duke and Duchess are welcomed to Portsmouth Credit: PA

"Yesterday was the most amazing day of my sailing career. There were so many people out, everyone had a fantastic time.

"Today was a shame but we will get that sorted out and book the weather in for next year."

– Sir Ben Ainslie
The Duchess wearing her personalised hoodie Credit: PA

The royal couple had hoped to watch the first of two races from a boat but this was cancelled along with a tour of a festival site as the ground was waterlogged.

William and Kate left their children - Prince George and Princess Charlotte - in the care of their personal staff to travel to the south coast for the event.

The Duchess, who is a keen sailor, joined Sir Ben in June last year when he formally launched Britain's bid to win the America's Cup for the first time.

Sir Ben on the water yesterday Credit: PA

Points collected during the World Series determine who will challenge the US for the America's Cup which will be staged in Bermuda in 2017.

Sir Ben is off to a flying start after his crew clinched a win and a second place during the two races staged yesterday in front of thousands of spectators.

William and Kate to cheer on Ben Ainslie in Portsmouth

The Spinnaker provides a stunning backdrop for the America's Cup Credit: PA

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will cheer on sailor Sir Ben Ainslie and his crew as they race in the America's Cup World Series.

Sir Ben, the most successful sailor in Olympic history, will skipper his team as they compete for the second day in the opening leg of the series, being staged in waters off Portsmouth.

The Duke and Duchess at Princess Charlotte's recent christening Credit: Mario Testino / Art Partner

William and Kate will today leave their children - Prince George and Princess Charlotte - in the care of their personal staff and travel to the South coast for the event.

The Duchess, who is a keen sailor, joined Sir Ben in June last year when he formally launched Britain's bid to win the America's Cup for the first time.

Sir Ben and the Duchess of Cambridge earlier this year Credit: PA

She is a committed supporter of the sailor's team BAR (Ben Ainslie Racing) and is also royal patron of the 1851 Trust, which works to inspire the next generation through sailing and the marine industry.

Sir Ben on the water yesterday Credit: PA

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