Saturday, 25 July 2015

Americas Cup Day 3: A Win for Sir Ben

americas cup world series portsmouth seafront eventI started the day surprisingly early for a Saturday but a cup of tea helped.
I had a boiled egg with toastie soldiers for breakfast and the egg (purchased that very morning from the Co-Op) was so small it didn't poke out of the top of the eggcup and it's lucky you delve downwards with these things.
And by 930 we were on our bikes, leaving Jof aghast at how we could leave the house without her. In meedle of no time we were on the seafront, and parked our bikes by the Pyramids.
The entrance was quite far away and we could have parked a lot closer but never mind eh. We got in with only a cursory search of our swag-bag (and we didn't have to have tickets) and we strumbled off in search of entertainment, noting the many food tents of all nations, strong on Bratwursts.
americas cup world series portsmouth seafront eventIt was quite empty to start with as we'd arrived at 10 and a bit so we hopped on the sea wall and looked at the early races. These were little one-man efforts called 'Moths' but they zipped around and came right out of the water on their hover-blades.
In the main 'Fanzone' arena I found a super racing car with attendant girlies and bald tyres. Many of the very extensive tents were to sell booze of all nations and Bermuda was well represented as well as real beer for us numpties.
Quite a few of the tents were sailing-related and we met the Portsmouth Watersports Centre people who know me well and they asked for some more of those cardboard tubes and stuff from Bud's work.
americas cup world series portsmouth seafront eventWe also spoke to a guy who was selling yachts of all sizes and he said that one like Ben Ainslie started off in would be about £600 second-hand, a snip if you live in in tropical waters unlike our benighted country.
americas cup world series portsmouth seafront eventThen we saw the toilets. I know they're expecting half a million visitors and there are a lot of beer tents, but there were enough toilets even for Jof. The sound stage was big and impressive but it was showing RNLI rescue practice on the big screens and the only person on stage was a Radio Heart DJ who was trying to get all 3 people in the audience to cheer.
I bought a tin mug with the cup logo on it to take to Scout camps etc. But that was the only actual thing I bought all day.
americas cup world series portsmouth seafront eventThe Solent was starting to get busy with spectator boats as was the sea wall. We rose above it by hiring a pod on the Ferris wheel! It was ace. Because we were one of only 3 occupied pods, they went round 5 times and kept stopping at the top for us to take pictures and admire the view.
americas cup world series portsmouth seafront eventThe pod spins on its own axis so I turned it a lot and we swapped seats and made it all wobble and the ride supervisor told us to sit down but he couldn't when we were up in the air, could he, children? No.
Then I had a square pizza for only £5 and we bought our drinks from the Waitrose tent because I'm not adventurous.
americas cup world series portsmouth seafront eventamericas cup world series portsmouth seafront eventThen the Royal Navy Frigate HMS St Albans left port and paraded past us a bit, for we are a Navy town and it's always nice to see some gruff Matlows saying look at the size of my 4 1/2 inch naval gun, don't try anything funny or we'll perforate you with high explosive shells. Then they fired a blank at us and we all jumped. She took up position off Ryde and waited to see if the IS sand monkeys would try anything.
americas cup world series portsmouth seafront eventThen (once I'd got an ice cream) the Red Bull flying display team buzzed us out of nowhere and the 2 propeller planes started a series of flypasts in close formation and dives and climbs and barrel rolls and the thing where they climb really high and stall and make smoke come out and they went rrrrr and bzzzzz and stuff for ages and made a heart out of traily-smoke. The 2 Gosport ferries came out and took up position at the harbour mouth and several other ferries loitered with intent, I'm just parking here for a minute, officer, honest.
One of the areas by the Portsmouth Watersports Centre tent was the kiddie area and it had the fun bus and bouncy castles (for very little people) and the laserquest thing that Ben and Erin and the JBs and I like to play at the May Fayre but I'd completely run out of friends so I just did the fun bus.
americas cup world series portsmouth seafront eventAnd then the Americas Cup competitors came out. They were much taller than everyone else and they were all catamarans and they looked rather swish. They had a naval escort and the Solent was absolutely crammed.
Let's hope the event organisers like it so much we're made a regular part of the event calendar.
The VIP area had a massive viewing platform and grandstand and it was full so we had a look at the battlements next to Henry the 8ths castle and they were crammed too. So I went home. The races took place, I'm sure, but I played Minecraft instead. Later we drove right back to the seafront again and picked up hot totty 'Katie B' from the Hovercraft and Jof took her dancing, having painted nails and donned stupid heels. Us chaps watched "The Bourne Identity" which was somewhat confusing with CIA subsections lying to each other.

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