America’s Cup World Series organisers unveil on-water spectator plans for Portsmouth
Organisers of the America’s Cup World Series events in Portsmouth have announced plans today for zealous fans of the momentous sporting event who wish to spectate from the waters of the Solent.
Though organisers have expressed their belief that the best views of the race proceedings will be had from the main race village onshore on Southsea Common, it will indeed be possible for waterborne vessels to spectate from a number of designated zones.
The racecourse and racing buoys will be laid out on each day of racing by the official authorities and the final layout of the course will depend on wind and weather conditions. The America’s Cup race management team will form a protective exclusion zone around the racing area made up of official marshals and official event sponsors and team boats. Only boats designated by race management will gain access to this area.
Portsmouth’s Queen’s Harbour Master has designated two more areas for other vessels — a small boat zone northwest of the racing area for boats less than seven metres long overall (LOA), and a main spectator zone southeast of the racing area. There will be a swashway between the racing area and the small boat zone for ferries and transiting traffic. The diagram at the top of this article shows the respective areas.
An exclusion zone will be created around the racecourse to ensure perfect racing conditions are provided for the world-class sailing teams who are taking on the America’s Cup events, whilst also maintaining the safety of both the participants and the spectators, given that the AC45 vessels which racing teams will use in the events can reach 40 knot speeds — in excess of 40mph.
The racing course itself will be dependent upon the wind direction on each day of racing, and will be refined and published closer to the time of the events using forecast data. The diagrams released thus far assume a moderate southwesterly wind — the most likely conditions at the time of the year when the World Series events are to be held.
Organisers have secured partnerships with three official charter boat suppliers — Sunsail, Marine Events, and Solent Rib Charters — who will operate within the close perimeter area as official event supporter boats. Those looking to charter a boat or buy hospitality spaces are advised to contact one of these preferred suppliers.
There will be no anchoring in or around the designated racecourse area. Normal restrictions for this area apply regarding anchoring due to the navigational obstructions below the surface of the water in the event area.
Flags will be laid out to cordon different areas, and all information pertaining to these flags and the areas they indicate will be accessible through the America’s Cup World Series website.
A speed limit of 10 knots will apply, and minimal wash will be required.
The America’s Cup World Series is a premier racing circuit which forms part of the 35th America’s Cup programme. The series is set to take place during 2015 and 2016 and will feature the best sailors in the world competing on 45-foot foiling catamarans.
As of 18th March 2015, 85,000 tickets had been registered or bought for the four days of events in Portsmouth, taking place from the 23rd July 2015 to the 26th July 2015.