From Hollywood royalty like Michael Douglas to British Royals, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the America's Cup has always attracted a celebrity following. Find out which other stars are fans
It is not surprising that the adrenalin fuelled, multi-million pound world of yacht racing attracts celebrities.
And we can certainly expect the stars to come out in Bermuda later this month for the 35th America’s Cup.
Recently, Hollywood legend Michael Douglas toured SoftBank Team Japan’s Bermudian base.
Douglas, whose mother is Bermudian, has a home in Bermuda which he shares with Catherine Zeta-Jones and their children.
Known for his passion for golfing, the Hollywood actor got bitten by the yacht racing bug when he saw the 2007 America’s Cup in Valencia.
Star Wars actor Harrison Ford is also an America’s Cup fan.
In August 2009, he threw his support behind BMW ORACLE Racing at an event to introduce the team to the public ahead of the 2010 America’s Cup.
The team, which later became ORACLE TEAM USA, was owned by Larry Ellison and had Jimmy Spithill as helmsman.
BMW ORACLE Racing went on to win the Ould Mug in Valencia in 2010.
From the moment that Sir Ben Ainslie and Land Rover BAR launched their #BringTheCupHome campaign, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have always shown their support – cheering them on at the America’s Cup World Series, becoming patrons of their charitable work, and even going out on the water to experience the thrill themselves.
Sir Ben and his men have also attracted the attention of Hollywood too.
During the America’s Cup World Series event in New York, Alfie Allen, who plays Theon Greyjoy in the hugely popular TV show ‘Game of Thrones’, Liam Hemsworth from ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘The Avengers’ Mark Ruffalo were all given the chance to be guest racers on the Hudson in May 2016.
Mark Ruffalo said it was a “magical” experience and praised Sir Ben for his “tactical genius”.
Liam Hesmworth, who was in 2016’s ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’, said he was “blown away” and amazed by the co-ordination of the Land Rover BAR team.
Alfie Allen, who is the brother of singer Lily Allen, commented that flying along the Hudson was a “surreal” experience.
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1980s pop royalty and Simon Le Bon has also taken flight on the Solent with Sir Ben and his men.
The lead singer of Duran Duran is no stranger to yacht racing, having competed in the 1995-1986 Whitbread Round the World Race on Drum.
He described the experience as “full on” when he stepped on board Land Rover BAR’s AC45F as a guest racer during the 2015 America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth.
International rugby fullback Leigh Halfpenny, who currently plays for Toulon in France, has also been for a spin with Land Rover BAR.
The Wales and British and Irish Lions international rugby union player said there “were a view nerves around” before he went out on the water, and like many novices, was amazed at the speed of the Land Rover BAR catamaran.
British television and radio presenter, Jake Humphrey, who is currently host of Premier League Football for BT Sport, joked that he had scuppered Land Rover BAR’s training ahead of the America’s Cup World Series match in Gothenburg in 2016.
“Sorry for ruining you training session,” he said, adding, “15 stone of uncoordinated bloke looking like a drunk gazelle at the back of the boat is probably not the ideal preparation for Gothenburg!”