Sir Ben Ainslie believes the America’s Cup World Series event would have turned into ‘absolute carnage’ if the boats had made any attempt to race on the final day of competition.
Thousands of people turned out from far and wide to enjoy the event, but strong winds upwards of 30mph battered the Southsea course, which meant the organisers had no choice but to abandon the second day of racing amid safety fears.
It meant Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR team claimed the title following Saturday’s impressive display.
But Ainslie, who has sailed in some of the worst conditions in the world, gave a rough idea on what would have happened if the boats had made it out on to the water.
He said: ‘Quite a few of the boats would have capsized and people would have got hurt.
‘You can’t mess around with these boats.
‘They are very, very powerful and if they get out of control, it’s absolute carnage.
‘So there is no question that it was the right decision to abandon it.
‘I have sailed in some pretty bad conditions in my time.
‘But probably not as bad as we saw out there.
‘If you go out in unsafe conditions, it is very dangerous.’
While it may not have been circumstances he would have chosen for victory, Britain’s most successful sailor took plenty of encouragement from his team’s efforts.
He said: ‘We were delighted with the results and we were overwhelmed by the support we had.
‘It has been quite emotional.’
See our special America’s Cup website for reports, video and photos from the event, including the visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
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