ACBDA: Why Portsmouth Event Matters To Us

July 22, 2016

[Written by Mikaela Pearman, Communications, ACBDA]

This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series.

It all kicked off in Portsmouth last July and has since visited Gothenburg, Sweden, Bermuda, Muscat, Oman, New York and Chicago. Later this year, the boats will race in Toulon, France and Fukuoka, Japan.

Portsmouth is certainly one of the higher profile events given the Cup was first raced in British waters in 1851 and the enthusiasm for the sport in the UK. It’s also an important event for Bermuda, and here’s a few reasons why.

Media Attendance

With the royals in attendance, it is expected all eyes will be on America’s Cup this weekend. Prince Phillip, Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton will all be in attendance over the course of the weekend. Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh will meet the Land Rover BAR team and tour the base.

America’s Cup Portsmouth Preview

Meanwhile, on Sunday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will join spectators for the final day of racing. The Duchess is the Royal Patron of ‘The 1851 Trust’, the official charity of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth.

All this adds up to lots of media exposure for the America’s Cup and ultimately for Bermuda.


Outside of #RacetoBermuda, the social media campaign raising awareness and excitement for next year’s main event, LandRover BAR’s #bringthecuphome might be the biggest ‘movement’ in this event for the 35th America’s Cup.

It references Sir Ben Ainslie’s quest to return the Auld Mug to Britain for the first time since they lost it to the schooner America in 1851. They love Sir Ben, a four-time Olympic Gold medalist, in the UK and the team’s lead supporter is held in pretty high regard too – Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.

Britain will be showing up and tuning in to this event and that is good for Bermuda.

Bermuda in the Spotlight

Bermuda has been front and centre at all of the LVACWS events around the world. This includes the popular Gosling’s Dark and Stormy Roof Top Bar, plus the BTA’s onsite activations and Hamilton Princess.

The official campaign to entice fans to Bermuda also began last summer in Portsmouth with the “hashtag” #RaceToBermuda. Since the official launch the hashtag has been used thousands of times on social media by the BTA, America’s Cup, the teams, fans and international media. It’s put Bermuda in the spotlight and kept us there.

By the Numbers

Last year, the LVACWS Portsmouth attracted about 250,000 spectators to watch a boat race. And while watching this boat race, the spectators saw Bermuda branding on the water and on the boats. This year, that number is expected to be larger thus exposing even more people to the brand that is Bermuda.

Many spectators are fans of BAR and could end up travelling to Bermuda next summer to watch the races on the Great Sound.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Pitts Bay Today says:

    Good luck to all the June 2017 fans needing accommodations in Bermuda., now that a huge percentage of our beds are gone..

  2. George says:

    ……………or they could just stay at home and watch it on TV?!

    So in a nut shell no one has any real idea who and how many will come to Bermuda for the AC35.

    We need to focus on how we are going to house them, feed them, transport them and cope with all the waste that is going to be produced.

    How’s that job coming along Mike Winfield and ACBDA?

    Less puff pieces please and more on how we as a small isolated Island of 32 square kilometers and 65,000 people are going to cope with the largest logistics challenges we have ever experienced!