30 July 2012
Last updated at 16:44
The 2012 Olympic sailing events are under way in Weymouth and Portland. Thousands of spectators have travelled to the south coast hoping to see Ben Ainslie win his fourth Olympic gold. Some visitors have combined a holiday with the sailing, including Margaret Ingram, 65, from Scotland (pictured left) who said it was "incredibly exciting". She said: "It's wonderful to be here and be part of the action."
The local council predicts at least 60,000 visitors to the town each day. Despite the main spectator area being sold out, only about 1,000 people at any one time are going into the 15,000-capacity "live arena" on the beach.
Councillor Ian Bruce, from Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said the traffic issues some people predicted during the Games "hadn’t materialised". He said: "Traffic is flowing freely and we still have plenty of capacity within the park-and-ride sites." Claire Arnold, 31, from Bournemouth, said: "We were actually on our way to Abbotsbury, but as the roads seemed so quiet we headed to Weymouth and can't believe there aren't more people here."
John Norton, 74, is on holiday in Weymouth with his family from Nuneaton, Warwickshire. He said: "You wouldn't know anything special was going on, it seemed much busier when the Olympic torch was here." His 72-year-old wife Ann said: "At least the sailors have got the right weather for it - it's been beautiful, we're having a great time."
The seafront in Weymouth and Portland is now home to a £3.5m seafront viewing tower which opened in June, in time for the Games. The 53m (173ft) Sealife Tower on Weymouth pier has a gondola which takes visitors up to give them views of the harbour and the Jurassic Coast.
Gordon Lake, 83, from Weymouth, watched the first day of the sailing events from the end of Weymouth pier, close to the Nothe Fort ticketed site. He said: "We've been hearing so much, for so long, about how wonderful the sailing events were going to be for Weymouth and Portland, and now they're finally here it's all turned out much better than I expected - it seems very well organised."
"He must be one of the youngest spectators here," said Amanda Crook of her six-month-old son George. The 31-year-old from Chorley in Lancashire added: "Me and my husband have been really excited about the Olympics, but didn't fancy taking a young baby to a stadium - Weymouth and Portland seemed like the most accessible venue for us."