How to watch the America's Cup World Series Portsmouth racing in the Solent, from 23 to 26 July 2015.

Action packed racing from the America’s Cup World Series is coming to Portsmouth this July.

Free and paid-for ticket options are already in high demand for the four day spectacle.

A race village is being created for Southsea Common with viewing opportunities and entertainment across a range of prices.

There are still tickets available in both the Waterfront Festival Arena (free to view, tickets available for Thursday and Friday) and Fanzone Arena (paid for tickets, available on all four days), as well as hospitality packages in the Waterfront Pavilion.

Click here to find out more about land ticket options

ACWS Por​tsmouth ​Race Are​a

ACWS race course overview

ACWS race course overview

Given the racing will take place in the popular sailing area of the Solent, plenty of people have been asking if they will be able to watch the racing from the water.

Organisers say the simple answer is: ‘Yes, this will be possible, although the best viewing areas will be from the main race village onshore on Southsea Common.’

The area of water racing will take place in, is close to shore, within a commercial shipping channel and an area managed Queen’s Harbour Master Portsmouth (QHM).

An exclusion zone will be created around the race course to ensure  quality racing conditions can be delivered to the world class sailing teams, but also to ensure the safety of both the racing teams and the spectators – the teams will race in AC45s, foiling catamarans capable of speeds of up to 40 mph.

Given the high speed of the racing catamarans, the arrangements for this event will be extensive, and are primarily focussed on ensuring the safety of competitors, other personnel involved in the racing, spectators and other water users.

The racing course will be dependent on the wind direction on each race day and will be refined and published closer to the event in the light of forecast winds. However, in order to illustrate arrangements the above diagram sets out the plans for the most likely wind at this time of year, a moderate south-westerly.

America's Cup World Series racing in Naples 2013.

America’s Cup World Series racing in Naples 2013

The full Local Notices To Mariners can be found at:

The race course and racing buoys will be laid on each day of racing by the official authorities and the final layout of the course will depend on wind and weather conditions.

The America’s Cup race management team will form a protective exclusion zone around the racing area made up of official marshals and official event, sponsors and team boats. Only boats designated by race management will gain access to this area.

Separate recommended viewing zones for all other spectator boats has been designated by the Queen’s Harbour Master.

There will be two clear areas for spectator viewing on water – one for smaller boats less than 7m LOA and one main spectator channel.

The organisers of the America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth still advise that one of the best views of the action will be from the main race village areas on Southsea Common where spectators will have a close-up view of the racing as well as the benefit of large screens, live coverage and commentary, onboard footage and audio and amazing graphics to add to their experience.

Organisers have secured partnerships with three official charter boat Preferred Suppliers (Sunsail, Marine Events and Solent Rib Charters) who will operate within the close perimeter area as official event support boats.

On the water plans FAQs

Can I watch the racing from the water?

Yes, this is possible from the on-water public viewing areas, although we believe the best areas to watch the racing and absorb the action is from the race village areas on Southsea Common


Is the water controlled by America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth or Teamorigin?

No the water is controlled by the Queen’s Harbour Master (QHM) Portsmouth and he will publish a Local Notice to Mariners approx. 3 weeks prior to the event – the link to the QHM web site is :


Can I anchor in the public viewing area?

No, there will be no anchoring in and around the designated race course. Normal restrictions for this area apply regarding anchoring. There are many navigational obstructions below the surface within the designated event area.


Can I buy a flag to gain access to a closer in, special viewing area?

No, there are no special areas and no sale of flags


Will there be different flags on the water?

Yes there will be flags to designate different areas and all the details of this will be on the official ACWS web site


Can I buy hospitality for the on water race viewing?

Yes, Official hospitality packages will be available via ACWS preferred suppliers and these boats will also form part of the area protection craft helping to define the different areas


Will there be a speed limit?

Yes, 10 knots we also ask people to make as minimal wash as possible. This speed limit and minimal wash requirement is enforceable in accordance with QHM General Direction Numbers 3/13 & 4/13 as found on QHM Portsmouth website:


Which days will the Local Notice to Mariners apply for?

It will apply for four days July 23 to 26 inclusive. The racing will take place on the 25 and 26 July (practice races on 24 July)


Does the Local Notice to Mariners apply to all daylight hours?

No – look at the QHM Portsmouth web site for details: to get the latest information


My boat is over 20 mts long and the LNTM states there is a restriction on the number of over 20 mt boats allowed in the spectator area – How do I apply to get my boat in the area?

Boats wishing to apply should contact QHM Portsmouth stating: length, beam, type of vessel, what drive systems, bow thrusters and other systems to aid maneuverability.



I understand that Portsmouth Harbour requires the use of pilots?

This is correct and the enforcement is via QHM Portsmouth. Pilots are required on vessels over 48 mts, as well as vessels over 20 mts if they have more than 12 fee paying passengers on board.

Contact Tel: 023 9229 7391 or email queries to NAVYNBCP-COBQHMPSO@MOD.UK