America’s Cup World Series, Portsmouth: everything you need to know

The America’s Cup World Series – a collection of regattas ahead of the 35th America’s Cup – is coming to the UK this July.

Taking place in Portsmouth between 23 – 26 July, the America’s Cup World Series is the ultimate warm-up for the main event in Bermuda in 2017. The racing feature the best sailors in the world, competing on sleek AC45 catamarans that reach up to 40mph.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the event…

The history:
The America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in world sport. The first race was organised by the Royal Yacht Squadron in 1851, it was a single race around the Isle of Wight, open to yachts of all nations. The prize was a silver cup that was valued at One Hundred Pounds sterling. The black schooner America won this nascent contest of maritime supremacy, outclassing the rest of the field to be first at the finish line off Cowes. To honour that victory, it was renamed the America’s Cup and became a challenge trophy, open to sailing clubs of all nations.

American teams representing the New York Yacht Club successfully defended the Cup against all challenges for 132 years – the longest winning streak in sport – until an Australian team won in 1983. Since then, the cup has become a truly global phenomena, with challenges from all five continents, and held in locations spread around the world – Cowes, New York, Newport RI, Fremantle, San Diego, Auckland, Valencia and San Francisco.

America's Cup World Series

The teams:
Teams taking part in the America’s Cup World Series, Portsmouth include the America’s Cup defenders, Oracle Team USA, and four challengers, including Swedish entry Artemis Racing, French entry Team France and Emirates Team New Zealand. For British sailing fans this is the first time you can support home team Ben Ainslie Racing on home waters.

Ben Ainslie

The party:
After the sailing action finishes, big names in pop and rock will keep the party rolling with performances at Portsmouth Live!, a ticketed event held over three nights in the Waterfront Festival Arena on Southsea Common. The Portsmouth Live! programme takes place on Thursday 23 and Friday 24 July, with the South Coast Proms 2015, featuring The Massed Bands of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines.

On Saturday 25 July, Spandau Ballet, Wet Wet Wet, McBusted and Carly Rae Jepsen will hit the stage – making it one of the must-see pop gigs this July.

McBusted 2015

The tickets:
From Thursday 23 to Sunday 26 July 2015, Portsmouth will be buzzing with sporting and entertainment action. The shore side entertainment and spectator experience will be accessibly for ticket holders. Huge quantities of shore side tickets have already been registered for or purchased, with over 90,000 bookings made to date. Tickets to the free-to-view Waterside Festival Arena have sold out for the Saturday and Sunday, and the official Fanzone Arena is getting close to selling out.

Get your tickets now at