The competing teams were seen on the Solent going through their paces as they try to get the best out of their foiling, wingsailed catamarans - an updated version of the AC45 raced in the last series in California two years ago.
British hopes rest with the Land Rover BAR team spearheaded by Sir Ben Ainslie, Britain’s decorated sailing Olympian. Sir Ben and his team will be competing against his old partners from Oracle Team USA, Artemis Racing, Emirates Team New Zealand, Groupama Team France and the Softbank Team Japan.
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The Oracle and Softbank teams along with Swedish challengers Artemis have been arriving at Portsmouth naval base in preparation for the contest, the oldest international sporting trophy, which was first competed for in 1851. The Royal Navy has agreed to provide space for international teams during the competition and a crane has been installed at its base to hoist the competing yachts in and out of the water over the four days.
Leslie Greenhalgh, Portsmouth World Series event director, said: “It’s fantastic to see all the America’s Cup teams starting to arrive. People will be able to watch the teams getting ready… and test their AC45 catamarans.”
She added that she hoped the event would attract much support from local residents, most of whom will be supporting Sir Ben and Land Rover BAR, the British team based in the city.
The series features some of the best sailors in the world and is the first stage of competition in the 2017 America’s Cup, which will be held in Bermuda.
Following the Portsmouth series, there will be events in Gothenburg, Sweden and Hamilton, Bermuda, later this summer and in the autumn.