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America's Cup

America's Cup - Organisers admit errors

The organisers of last years Portsmouth America’s World Cup Series event have admitted that they got it wrong and have promised this won’t happen at this summer’s event. The big business overkill attitude that upset so many local people will not be repeated - they say!

Speaking at a Forum in Portsmouth, Team Origin operations director Jeremy Troughton said, "We misjudged it. Now we’re just going to focus on the sailing . . . This time we’re not trying to be anything else."

It seems it takes a hit where it hurts, in their pocket, for the organisers to see what was obvious to everyone else with the slightest sailing knowledge. This is a sailing event featuring some of the biggest names in sailing, warming-up for the biggest sailing competition there is, not a reunion pop concert and craft fair selling event.

And despite a lengthy report after the event that seemed claimed all sorts of dubious financial benifits to Portsmouth and the UK in general. They now admit that 2015’s event had ‘tried to be too many things’ and because of that, the group struggled to break even.

While trotting out the standard 'valuable lessons had been learnt' mantra, Team Origin said they they were focusing on making it a commercial success rather than having a funfair and holding concerts.

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This July's event will have a number of changes that the organisers hope will be an improvement:

The free spectator area on Southsea Common will be bigger and the highly unpopular metal fencing will be absent. And more importantly for the sailing enthusiasts and the event there will be better opportunities to see the racing yachts up close, as before each race they will be moored just off the seafront.

Cost of tickets for the race village and bandstand area are reduced from £45 per person to £25, with a larger capacity of up to 20,000 people. Restrictions on spectators bringing in food and drink have been relaxed after complaints last year.

It is surprising that only now, with hindsight, do the organisers realise that people coming all the way to the Southsea seafront, actually wanted to know more about the boats and how they operated.

"People’s appetite to know about the racing and who was winning was huge," said event director Leslie Greenhalgh, "Mistakenly we didn’t think people wanted to be overwhelmed with too much information."

You couldn't make it up!

The 2016 America’s World Cup Series is in Portsmouth between Thursday 21 July and Sunday 24 July.