A VICTORY in the America’s Cup by Sir Ben Ainslie could generate as much as £140 million for the Hampshire economy.

A study by Dr Andrew Clegg from the University of Chichester Business School has shown the whole of the Solent region will boom if the Hampshire sailor and his Portsmouth-based BAR team bring home the cup.

Dr Clegg said: “There is a huge superyacht fraternity that will follow events like the America’s Cup if it was to be held here.

Southampton has strong berthing facilities that could allow superyachts to berth for the event, there is certainly a captive market and it will put the Solent region on the world scene.

“The £140 million figure is a conservative total.”

Meanwhile, the BAR team are on the hunt for a new manufacturing base which could create up to 40 new advanced engineering jobs.

Under the proposals, the base would be 20,000 to 30,000 sq ft and will allow sailing parts to be manufactured locally in Hampshire rather than brought in from other parts of the UK or Europe.

Portsmouth staged two of the preliminary rounds in the Americas Cup and Andrew Hindley, chief finance officer of Landrover BAR said: “The two events held here were the most successful the series had and we have thrown our hat in the ring to bring it back here. We are in pole position.

“We are also looking to expand our operations in the area and we’d like to have a manufacturing base closer to home. We are looking at sites at the moment with the aim to move in by August.”

Maureen Frost, chief executive of the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce said: “The Americas Cup has generated a great deal of interest in the Solent. With the home team being based here many venues are broadcasting the racing live.”

The battle foin the 35th America’s Cup competition began on Saturday.

Following a disappointing four losses against Softbank Japan, Oracle Team USA, Groupama France and Emirates Team New Zealand over the weekend, Sir Ben steered Land Rover BAR back to winning ways in the America’s Cup Qualifiers on Tuesday by comfortably beating Sweden’s Artemis Racing in Bermuda.