The coastal city attracted hundreds of thousands to the area for world-class racing
Almost 250,000 spectators enjoyed the America’s Cup World Series action in Portsmouth at the end of July, official figures reveal.
A total of 245,460 watched the event from a number of sites across the city, including Southsea common and the Historic Dockyard.
108,329 attended the festival and fan zone areas throughout the four days, while 25,700 took to the water to get an eyeful of the spectacular AC45s.
Big Saturday delivered the biggest visitor numbers, with 67,374 spectators onsite, 22,000 on the water and a further 49,067 off site.
The event was the first ever America’s Cup racing to be held in the Solent since the historic first event back in 1851.
The four-day event attracted huge spectator numbers in the event village, which included a free Waterfront Festival Arena packed with family attractions and a Fanzone Arena with live stage appearances from sailing stars, plus some spectacular aerial displays from acrobatic stunt teams.
Sir Keith Mills, Chairman Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, Portsmouth said: “On behalf of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, Portsmouth, we would like to thank all the spectators that came from around the world to be part of this iconic sailing event.
“Despite the weather, the event delivered and the Saturday was a particular highlight, with over 60,000 people visiting the on-land spectator arena and over 22,000 watching the action from the water. The America’s Cup teams delivered spectacular racing on the water and with home team Land Rover BAR winning the event making it extra special.”
On Sunday 26th July, the event welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Portsmouth who braved the elements, meeting the teams and attending and presenting the prizes to the competing teams.
British fans came out in huge numbers to support home team Land Rover BAR as they made a winning start to their 35th America’s Cup journey, the team used the crowds to spur them on during the two races on ‘Big Saturday’.
Sir Ben Ainslie said: “In my sailing career, I’ve never seen anything like that. The amount of people that came out on the water, on the shore line, supporting the event and supporting us as a home team, all of us as a team were completely blown away.”
Planning now starts for 2016 with last month marking the first of two years in which Portsmouth will host the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, with the next year’s edition also scheduled to take place in July.