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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.


Saints to face Dutch side in Europa League

A tough tie for Ronald Koeman Credit: Meridian

Southampton Football Club have drawn Dutch side Vitesse in the Europa League Third Qualifying Round. The home game is due to be played on 30 July, with the away match a week later. UEFA can, though, reverse the legs if they have reason to do so. The tie pits manager Ronald Koeman against the side where he began his managerial career.

Glover & Stanning extend winning streak to 27 races

The partnership of Glover and Stanning extended their winning streak to 27 races by holding off a strong New Zealand team to win the women's pairs, while the men's eight clinched a dramatic victory as they saw off Germany by just eight hundredths of a second. For Glover and Stanning it was perfect preparation for the World Championships in France in September as they moved into a big early lead and sustained the pressure to win in 6:57.59. Stanning said: "That was really pleasing because Heather called the race perfectly. We knew we were going to attack it because it was the last chance to put down a marker before the World Championships." The men's eight - Matt Gotrel, Constantine Louloudis, Pete Reed, Paul Bennett, Mohamed Sbihi, Alex Gregory, George Nash, Will Satch and cox Phelan Hill - also established an early lead over Olympic champions Germany. And a strong effort in the final stages enabled the British team to keep the Germans at bay as they edged home in 5:33.95. Great Britain also took silver in the men's pairs and bronzes in the women's eight and the men's singles sculls respectively.


Respects paid to footballer who died after pitch collapse

A minute's applause has been held in Tonbridge for footballer Junior Dian who died in hospital after collapsing during a pre-season game on Tuesday night.

The player was just 24 and on trial at the Ryman Premier League club.

Andy Dickenson has our report. He speaks to Dian's brother, Prince Dian-Tomba, and Steve Churcher, Neil Durling and Jerome Sobers, Chairman, Chaplain and Captain of Tonbridge Angels.

"Sport of Kings" returns to Dorset this weekend

Beach polo returns to the South Credit: ITV news

The so called "sport of Kings" returns to Dorset this weekend. Sandbanks is once again hosting the British Beach Polo Championships which will see the cream of the polo world fighting to be crowned champions.

A host of celebrities including model, TV presenter and polo fan, Jodie Kidd and actor Debra Stephenson will join the crowds. Organisers say the event looks set to be the best yet and the weather promises not to disappoint.

The Blue Flag beach will be an idyllic setting for the high adrenaline arena polo game. This year the Clogau Wales Polo Team will be playing against England, Scotland and The Barbarians hoping to hold onto their title of reigning champions.

Professional polo player, Jack Kidd says: "The top polo players are really excited about returning to Sandbanks for another year to play some incredibly competitive polo on the beach and in front of a large crowd. The setting is always spectacular; I can't wait!"

The British Beach Polo weekend will finish with a beach party as the sun goes down.

Johnny Wheeler, director of Sandpolo said: "We're delighted to be returning to Sandbanks again. Each year the event gets better and introduces more people to the exciting game of polo. Whether you're dining in the waterfront hospitality marquee, mixing with the VIPs or just soaking up the atmosphere, it's an opportunity for everyone to enjoy a heady mix of sport and parties, whilst seeing the Jurassic English coast at its best. It's simply a great day out. "

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