The first of the fan reviews from the ACWS Portsmouth are now in, and surprise, surprise – they’re just as bad as the online and app community. Hey Gosling’s, Louis Vuitton, and anyone else who paid real money to be part of this clown parade: You listening yet? From SA’er “Quirky Torok”:
On Thursday my partner and I made it down to Portsmouth for the event. I can’t say it was a joyous day out. The weather was snotty and the staff were snoytyer.
We got to the entrance to have bags searched and to be frisked (quite vigorous hands used, but not without its charms) My partner had food confiscated (some bloody good chicken and bacon sarnies!) but was allowed to keep sealed bottled water. This was done because of security concerns (ISIS obviously have not got the bottle sealing technology yet). From there it was a walk through the park, I suspect the reason the organizers stole food was on the unfounded idea that those that wanted to eat were going to pay for food.. At £6 for two cups of tea or £4.50 for a small tray of chips this was unfounded. We were not happy campers.
Anyway, onto the Fanzone £35 for a ticket and we expected a wonderland of information or better facilities.. nup.. It was just a stage, a champagne bar (if tea was £3 a cup I didn’t even want to think how much the bubbly was!) and access to the costal path. We were closer to the racing but not worth £35. We found a bench sat down hid under a big umbrella and waited for the racing to start.
The commentators were doing the best job they could with the weather and the hold ups. They explained to the uninitiated about the boats and the sailing going back and forth between interviews and pre-shot videos. They went to one video and as it finished the commentator shouted they have started! Yup. They missed the start of the first practice race! How the fuck does that happen? It’s not like it starts sneaks up on you! We watched the race and yes it was good to see the boats foiling through the horizontal rain, but… and this is a big but…. Wasn’t that exciting. Sorry but that was my personal opinion. The race finished and there was another delay. OK happy with that we moved round the fanzone to see what else was happening..Not a great deal.. We found a small wall under the raised VIP area and leant against the wall.. Then it happened..
We were approached by a steward who ordered us to move on away from the area as the VIP’s had paid £500 to stand on the viewing platform and didn’t want to see the likes of us standing there so he said the area was now designated a walk way and we must move on.
He was neither courteous or polite smelt of tobacco and was Scottish (I don’t mean to be racist against Scots but I am… deal with it) … After the heavy handed treatment the public got at the gates and the soggy weather this was the last straw and we decided that the event was not worth the £70 we had paid for fan zone tickets and left the event before the second race started. We are not wimps that don’t like the wet or novices that don’t understand the racing, we are normal sailors that wish to watch stadium racing in a controlled way.
The idea that the ACWS supports Portsmouth with jobs and finance is a misconception very few people there were paid a reasonable wage, I am guessing the vast majority were on minimum wage. Businesses local to the event lost out due to the huge hordings keeping people out. The bus drivers that took us to the event from the park-and-ride were not locals. I heard one of them even got lost and had to be guided to the event by a local on board the bus! The security staff were moronic Rambo wannabes that had the intelligence of seaweed.
Personally I was disappointed at the staff and ethos of this sailing event. We will not be coming back or recommending it next year. The public who the Cup wishes to attract have memories and will not support this series.. If you read Facebook not too many people were happy with the experience from a spectators perspective.
We will instead take our custom and support to the Extreme Sailing Series that really does know how to foster good will and fan satisfaction..