America's Cup event cancelled because of bad weather

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America's Cup crowds amaze Ainslie

Sunday's racing at the America's Cup World Series event in Portsmouth has been cancelled because of bad weather.

Forecast winds over 30mph forced the regatta director to first delay the start and then abandon the two races.

It means Britain's Sir Ben Ainslie and his Land Rover BAR Racing team secured the overall victory across the weekend.

"It was the right call because in those conditions the boats would have capsized and people would have got hurt," said Ainslie.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the teams on Sunday

"You can't mess around with these boats, they are very powerful and if they get out of control there is carnage.

"But we were delighted with the results and delighted to perform well in front of a home crowd. The event has been a huge success and it shows what support there would be if we were hosting the America's Cup here."

Ainslie's boat was first and second in Saturday's two races on the Solent.

Emirates Team New Zealand finished a point behind in second overall and America's Cup holders Oracle Team USA in third.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were among those in Portsmouth on Sunday hoping to watch the day's events.

Spectators
Spectators wait in vain for the start of the second day of racing

"As with all big events we had lots of plans in place for various scenarios - this was definitely one we didn't want to see," said the event organisers.

"This morning we went through a lot of review systems; we talked deeply with our meteorologists, the sailing teams and the organisers and we made the decision to cancel racing."

This weekend's racing is the start of a lengthy qualification process that will count towards the 2017 America's Cup Challenger Series, the winner of which will take on Oracle in the 2017 America's Cup.

It will be the 35th staging of the oldest competition in international sport, which was first raced in 1851 around the Isle of Wight.

It was named after a boat called America, which beat the best Britain could offer and a British boat has never won the trophy.

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