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Plain sailing for Kate as she enjoys GB catamaran race victory

Kate celebrates with the Great Britain SailGP Team (Ricardo Pinto for SailGP/PA)
Kate celebrates with the Great Britain SailGP Team (Ricardo Pinto for SailGP/PA)

The Duchess of Cambridge has inspired a British sailing victory over New Zealand in front of a crowd of thousands.

Kate donned a wetsuit as she joined the British racing team on their F50 catamaran in a friendly Commonwealth Race alongside Olympian Sir Ben Ainslie.

The race, which took place ahead of the official final events of the SailGP international sailing competition in Plymouth, saw Great Britain take on endurance swimmer and environmentalist Lewis Pugh as a guest racer alongside Peter Burling and Blair Tuke on the New Zealand F50.

Kate’s team sailed to an easy victory in front of thousands lining the Plymouth coast.

The duchess was visiting the SailGP event site in her role as the patron of the 1851 Trust, the official charity of the Great Britain SailGP Team.

Kate with Sir Ben Ainslie
Kate with Sir Ben Ainslie (Matt Keeble/PA)

She arrived to cheering crowds on Sunday lunchtime.

“She’s a really good sailor in her own right, she has sailed with me on foiling boats as well and we’re expecting a little bit of extra help,” Sir Ben said.

The 1851 Trust helps youngsters aged 11-16 gain experience of careers in science, technology and engineering.

Kate dons her wetsuit
Kate dons her wetsuit (Matt Keeble/PA)

Before the race, Kate spoke to members of both teams who explained how the SailGP vessels work.

She appeared intrigued with the tour, although the time it took led to Sir Ben to joke: “Come on, we’ve got a race to do, mate.”

Before the race, Kate met excited youngsters who told her how they were growing seagrass, and took part in activities educating young people about sustainability.

Kate joins a seagrass planting activity
Kate joins a seagrass planting activity (Bob Martin for SailGP/PA)

Carnegie Bedlow, 12, from St Helier in Jersey, said: “I was a little bit nervous but she did what I told her and she was very good.

“She asked me if I was interested in sailing. I do sailing camps in the summer, I love the ocean.”