Following the success of last year's inaugural Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Portsmouth, the Royal Navy is once again providing services and support as an Official Stakeholder to ensure this July's four-day spectacular in Portsmouth is even bigger and better in 2016.
Sir Keith Mills, Chairman of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Portsmouth, is delighted to have secured the backing of the Royal Navy for the second year, with this summer's regatta taking place from 21st to 24th July.
"Ever since our meeting two years ago with the then First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, and Naval Base Commander Commodore Jeremy Rigby, we have enjoyed the utmost commitment and support from the Royal Navy," said Sir Keith. "We are proud to be able to call the Royal Navy an Official Stakeholder of this year's event. It would be difficult to think of anywhere in Great Britain that has a stronger affiliation with the maritime world than Portsmouth, and it is very important for the international teams to have access to the city's naval dockyard within Her Majesty's Naval Base in Portsmouth."
Sir Keith says the partnership between the Royal Navy and the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series – Portsmouth is a natural fit for many reasons.
"We share similar goals, passions and synergies across a number of key areas - maritime history, marine development, supporting innovation and technologies for the future, and contributing to significant business opportunities in Portsmouth. Through our close association with the 1851 Trust, we are creating many maritime career and apprenticeship opportunities for young people in the area."
HMS Bulwark and Land Rover BAR on the Solent © Rick Tomlinson
Commodore Jeremy Rigby, Commander of HM Naval Base Portsmouth, is looking forward to welcoming the international teams back for a second year.
"Great Britain is a maritime nation and the Royal Navy continues to be at the heart of protecting and promoting our prosperity on the high seas. We are doing everything we can to help facilitate this exciting maritime competition in the spiritual home of the Royal Navy, noting the huge benefits it brings to the UK, and to Portsmouth in particular."
As well as providing berthing and technical facilities on site, the Royal Navy's Queen's Harbour Master is instrumental in clearing a safe race course for the event, which last year attracted thousands of spectator vessels. The technologically advanced, carbon-fibre AC45 catamarans are capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots. It's the kind of marine technology that is well appreciated and understood in Portsmouth, which for more than 400 years has been a centre of maritime innovation for the Royal Navy.
With the six international crews travelling at such high speeds in close proximity to the shore, the need for careful stewardship of the race course is vital. The event is well served by a large number of Royal Navy vessels, not least the frigate HMS Kent, whose 436ft presence will act as official Guard Ship.
Planning for both the maritime and onshore activities for this major event is focused on the safety of competitors, spectators and other water users. Clearly marked race marshals, safety craft, police boats and QHM craft will be on hand to safely shepherd non-participants away from the high-speed yachts in the racing area.
The Queen's Harbour master is urging visitors to familiarise themselves with the marine traffic restrictions set in place for the busy periods that the large high-tech catamarans will be in operation, racing or transiting in and out of Portsmouth harbour. Aiming to minimise the disruption to other boat users and scheduled ferry services within the channels, the Queen's Harbour Master will issue a detailed Notice to Mariners on their website to advise all mariners of traffic and anchoring restrictions in place. Detailed, updated information will be published at regular intervals, taking account of the prevailing wind and weather forecasts that will influence the arrangements for marine traffic management.
Leslie Greenhalgh, Event Director of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Portsmouth concluded:
"As we saw last year, the support we have received from the Royal Navy is fundamental to the successful hosting of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series in Portsmouth. This is a wonderful opportunity to display the tremendous maritime and naval heritage of the city. I'd like to thank the hard-working team in the Naval Base, for giving their time and energy. The event offers 'something for everyone' and we encourage fans from around Britain to visit Portsmouth and support Land Rover BAR on home waters and experience the spectacle of the America's Cup."
There will also be Royal Navy presence in the official ticketed Race Village in Southsea with spectators both young and old able to meet Royal Navy service staff and take a look around offshore craft and vehicles while the more active fans can take on the Royal Marine Climbing Wall Challenge For tickets: www.lvacwsportsmouth.com/tickets