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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.”

Fleet of ocean racers ready for Round the Island debut

The world’s largest matched fleet of 70-foot ocean racers is on the Solent in preparation for its debut in the 84th Round the Island Race.

The fleet is on the Solent in preparation for the largest single sailing race in the world Credit: Clipper Ventures

The twelve Clipper 70s will be joined by four Clipper 68s on the start line tomorrow to compete against more than 1500 competitors.

Clipper Events has mustered the record breaking 16-strong entry in the RTI for a range of clients including the title sponsor JP Morgan Asset Management.

We are extremely excited and have been planning this for months now so we are ready to go.

Clipper Events skippers and staff have been extremely welcoming to us and it’s amazing that we are going to have all twelve of the Clipper 70’s out and racing against each other.

– Henry Gates, Vice President, JP Morgan Asset Management

Clipper Events provides sailing hospitality, team development days and fleet racing. It was established alongside the Clipper Race by British yachting legend Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who became the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-9.

Hannah's challenge: the fastest Channel crossing

Hannah White has already sailed to the Atlantic solo three times

A new world record could be set today for the fastest channel crossing in a sail-powered dinghy.

The sailor and extreme adventurer Hannah White will make the attempt - starting in France and hopes to reach Folkestone in Kent by this evening. Her boat, Speedbird, is a type of vessel known as a 'moth', and it could reach speeds of 45 knots.

Next year Hannah aims to not only break the women’s speed record over one nautical mile, but become the first woman to ever set that record above the 40 knot barrier.

Berkshire rower wins bronze medal

Katherine Grainger has won a bronze in Poland Credit: ITV

Katherine Grainger, the Olympic champion from Maidenhead, won a bronze as Britain took several medals at the European Rowing Championships in Poland. She partnered Vicky Thornley to achieve third in the double skulls. Katherine has not raced since winning gold at the 2012 Olympics.

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Hannah plans to skim towards sailing record

A sailor from Hampshire has set out to become the fastest woman on water.

No stranger to challenges, Hannah White has sailed the Atlantic solo three times.

We last caught up with her last year when she successfully completed a 205-mile kayak across the waterways of our region, to raise money for the RNLI. That adventure was about stamina - her latest challenge is about speed.

And she'll be reaching speeds of more than 45 mph in a special boat designed to skim across water. David Wood reports.

Hampshire sailor Alex Thomson loses mast in Barcelona World Race

Credit: Barcelona World Race

Hampshire sailor Alex Thomson and Pepe Ribes, skippers of the IMOCA 60 Hugo Boss, which was leading the Barcelona World Race, have lose their mast overboard.

The yacht was sailing in moderate conditions when, after a rigging failure, the mast fell overboard and broke.

Thomson, 40, and Spaniard Ribes, 43 will now cease racing in the Barcelona World Race 2014 -2015.

The skippers and the shore team are currently evaluating how to get the boat to the nearest landfall, which is likely to be Salvador de Bahia in Brazil - a significant distance from the boat’s current position.

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