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Sir Ben Ainslie prepares for America's Cup today

Months of preparation and it all comes down to this - the America's Cup on the south coast.

The event, with a follow-on race next summer, is expected to bring a £60m boost to the Hampshire city which is hosting a festival in the race village.


Portsmouth's America's Cup will be of 'national significance' - Sir Keith Mills

Sir Ben Ainslie's vision of the America's Cup in Portsmouth comes to fruition Credit: PA

Welcoming up to half a million people, the organisers of the America's Cup World Series in Portsmouth hope the event will see a British team storm to victory.

Sir Ben Ainslie, the four-time Olympic champion, who won the prestigious event in 2013 with an American crew, is putting together a team and a yacht which he hopes will allow Britain to claim the prize for the first time since it was created in 1851.

The Duchess of Cambridge is the patron of the 1851 Trust which aims to encourage youngsters to enter the maritime industry through sailing.

On Sunday the Duchess and the Duke of Cambridge will visit the teams in at the Royal Navy base before Sir Ben gives them a tour of his new sailing centre. The Royal couple will also meet youngsters who have sailed for the first time with the 1851 Trust before watching the racing and presenting trophies and medals.

"This will be an event of national significance - the first time we will witness a British America's Cup team race in an official America's Cup event on British waters since 1851.

"We are expecting up to 500,000 visitors and spectators for this event as well as a significant UK and international TV audience and their presence will ensure an unforgettable event for all involved. It will be a huge honour for us to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to this event in Portsmouth."

– Sir Keith Mills, chairman of race organisers Teamorigin Events
Sir Ben Ainslie and Sir Keith Mills with the Duchess of Cambridge at Portsmouth Credit: STEFAN WERMUTH/WPA Rota/Press Association Images

'First Thursday' America's Cup schedule

Thursday is all about a series of ‘Firsts’.

0900 – 1100: The race teams and boats get ready in the Naval Base – come and view in the Historic Dockyard

1000: Race Village opens on Southsea Common

1100: The America’s Cup ‘trophy’ arrives in style

1115 – 1230: Moth racing and kitesurfing displays

1230: The Official Parade of Sail leaves the Royal Navy base and escorts the race fleet out to the race course area in front of the race village on Southsea Common

1245 – 1430 Official Parade of Sail and exhibition sailing by the race teams

1500: Skippers come ashore

1515: Official press conference & presentation of skippers in Fanzone Arena

1700: Day programme ends

1830: Evening programme opens

1900 – 1945: Official Opening Ceremony

2000 – 2200: South Coast Proms concert featuring The Massed Bands of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines

Five teams are competing for the chance to challenge the holders Team Oracle USA, in 2017 Credit: America's Cup


America's Cup drone warning

People using aviators and drones are being reminded by police that a temporary restricted airspace will be in place during the America's Cup World Series in Portsmouth.

The yacht-racing event takes place between July the 23rd and 26th. Five hundred thousand spectators are expected to desend on the city over the four days.

Drone restrictions Credit: ITV News

Tributes pour in for Jules Bianchi

Tributes have been flooding in, after the death of French Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi. The Oxfordshire-based Marussia (now known as Manor) driver died after being in a coma for several months, following a crash at the Japanese Grand Prix.

A statement from his team described him as a shining talent destined for great things.

"Words cannot describe the enormous sadness within our team this morning, as we come to terms with losing Jules. He has left an indelible mark on all our lives, and will forever be part of everything we have achieved, and everything we will strive for going forward."

"Last night we lost a truly great guy and a real fighter - my sincerest condolences to his family and friends."

– Jenson Button - Formula 1 driver

"An untold talent, and a potential world champion in the making".

– Eddie Jordan - Formula 1 analyst
Jules Bianchi dies Credit: ITV News

Ben Ainslie prepares for America's Cup battle

There is massive local support for Ben Ainslie Credit: America's Cup

Tension is growing for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series. The event begins next week with a Parade of Sail in front of the Waterfront and Fanzone areas in Portsmouth on Thursday July 23.

The first competition of the 35th America’s Cup will be marked by massive local support for the host team, Land Rover BAR, which is led by Ben Ainslie. This is the Olympic hero’s first opportunity to lead his team into battle in America’s Cup competition.

Ainslie has been clear in stating his goal is to bring the Cup back to Britain.

“The America’s Cup started here in 1851,” Ainslie said. “We’ve had a few shots over the past 164 years but we’ve never come that close to winning. It’s important to us to get that job done now.”

But to do that, he’ll have to beat the defending champions, Jimmy Spithill and ORACLE TEAM USA - a team he helped to victory in 2013.

“Ben is a really good guy. You meet him on the shore and he’s very courteous, well mannered,” Spithill says. “On the water though, you flick a switch. He becomes very, very aggressive and he gets the results.”

Dee day for this year's Cowes Week

Round-the-world sailor Dee Caffari has officially launched the programme for this year's Cowes Week. The world's biggest sailing regatta takes place on the Solent from 8 August. This year the event will be raising money to help provide young people with chance to get a taste of life on the water. Richard Jones reports.

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