The Americas Cup & more..
Firstly wow what a weekend of sport and what a privilege to be so deeply involved within the very pinnacle of the sport I love.
Working down in Portsmouth for the Louis Vuitton Americas Cup World Series, on the Guest Chaser Experience which, is the creme de la creme the (Willy Wonka's Golden Ticket Experience) by invitation only directly from Sir Russell Coutts. Some of the biggest names in business, entertainment and sport were hosted by a dedicated select team each with their own commentator and host to guide them through their experience both on the water and off.
The really special part of this experience is the access to the race course. Apart from the 2 umpire boats, the only other boats allowed on to the race course during racing are the Guest Chaser Experience (GCE), giving the guests the closest, most dramatic and realistic feel of the action as it happens. Blasting along side with all 6 AC45's as they push 30 knots + away from the start and down the first downwind leg brings real understanding of the speed produced by the effort and skill from each team.
The smile from ear to ear and wided eyed look of sheer excitement, adrenaline and amazement is the perfect feedback for any of the host team.
And what a way to keep those smiles.....to see Land Rover BAR cross the finish line in the final racing securing them the overall title on home waters. The noise from the crowds were outstanding, even over the top of the blades of the helicopter and the engines of the ribs. The crowning piece (no pun intended) all done in front of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge who have played such a monumental part in the British Americas Cup campaign alongside of course Prince Phillip and of course Princess Anne who has dedicated so many years within the sport.
With the support of the Royal family, with excitement of what technology has done within our sport, this surely has to be a defining moment where the country sits up and takes notice of sport. Getting behind all of our sailors as we are one of the worlds best sailing nations and these athletes are true role models on and off the water for men and women across the globe.
The privilege I have to knowing so many of these world class athletes through my own racing and more recently these global tours allows me the inside knowledge to how hard they train to win, the fine balance with family life, media commitments, educating the youth of today and being the role models we aspire to be, couldn't make me any prouder to watch a group of mates not just win the event but put themselves on top of the overall leader board.
Not only seeing all of this unfold in front of my eyes, the have the news that Chris Froome secured his 3rd Tour De France win (in another sport i love) highlights what an amazing nation we are and what truly amazing athletes we have representing our country.
2 very different sports, but hinge around 1 major factor.... Teamwork and no matter how good an individual athlete there is always a huge support team surrounding them enabling the very platform for them to perform at their peak and on the same day 2 outstanding team victories for GBR.
With bated breath we now look towards Rio in the hope of further Gold medals, team performances and outstanding GBR achievements. Sending all of the GBR best wishes for the games, to many of the friends I know within the team again real pride is felt watching you as take to the final stage you have all worked so hard for.
Within the light of all of the negative reflection the United Kingdom has had shown at it, in the past few weeks, it is moments of brilliance like the 2 I have highlighted above to bring us all together as one, not just one nation but one world. The countdown to the games is on and again an opportunity to embrace the success of each nation, honour each and every athlete that has been chosen to represent their country and celebrate the magic that sport brings us all.
With some many exciting sports and continued achievement within all, we can not follow everything but uniting behind our Nation and being truly sporting by congratulating others and demonstrating sportsmanship is why whatever else is going on.....it gives us all something to smile and be proud of.
A special mention of course goes out to Georgie and Sir Ben Ainslie on the birth of their baby girl Bellatrix, perfect timing and as Georgie summed up earlier the perfect week.