The Duke of Edinburgh to visit Britain’s America’s Cup challenger Land Rover BAR in Portsmouth
Prince Philip in his role as Admiral of the Royal Yacht Squadron, whose subsidiary Royal Yacht Squadron Racing is the official America’s Cup challenging Club of Land Rover BAR, will visit the team’s high-tech base in Portsmouth on Friday 22ndJuly during the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series.
His Royal Highness will meet the design and engineering team responsible for building the boat that will race for the America’s Cup in Bermuda 2017. The Duke will then head out on the water to watch the high speed racing action and meet Sir Ben Ainslie and his sailing team as they battle to bring the Cup home.
The Duke of Edinburgh's love of the sea was instilled at an early age when he joined the Royal Navy and went on to serve on various classes of vessel during World War Two. HRH then became a keen yachtsman and famously owned a Dragon Class Yacht called Bluebottle in which he was a regular and highly successful participant in the annual Cowes Week regatta on the Isle of Wight.
The Duke's affection for sailing is still strong and having been a long time member of the Royal Yacht Squadron and a former commodore –HRH now holds the position of Admiral. Last year HRH reviewed their 180 strong member fleet during their bicentenary celebrations.
Land Rover BAR sailing past The Royal Yacht Squadron (C) Harry Kenney-Herbet
Martin Whitmarsh, Chief Executive Officer of Land Rover BAR, said:
“Every team that challenges for the America's Cup is required to do so through a host yacht club and we are honoured to have Royal Yacht Squadron Racing as our challenging club. The RYS is the most prestigious yacht club in the world and the support and advice we receive from their members means a great deal. We are delighted to have Prince Philip in his role as Admiral of the Royal Yacht Squadron visiting the team base and watching the racing in Portsmouth next week, it has given the whole team a huge boost ahead of the event.”
The America’s Cup is the oldest international trophy in world sport and Britain has never won it. The Royal Yacht Squadron has a long history with the America’s Cup, going right back to the very beginning when they hosted the first race around the Isle of Wight in 1851. The prize was a silver Cup that was valued at One Hundred Pounds sterling. The black schooner ‘America’ won the contest, outclassing the rest of the field to be first at the finish line off Cowes. To honour that victory, the Cup was renamed the America’s Cup and became a challenge trophy, open to sailing clubs of all nations.
Land Rover BAR are aiming to right the wrong and bring the America’s Cup home to Britain for the first time. Next week will be the last chance for British fans to support the team on home waters before next year’s America’s Cup in Bermuda. The best place to watch the action is from the ticketed ‘Race Village’ on Southsea seafront. It will be packed with interactive displays and offering close-up views of the racing and the benefit of large screens broadcasting the action.