UK & World News

  • 11 April 2014, 11:48

Kate Wins Battle Of The Waves In Royal Tour

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been making waves by competing against each other in a yacht race on Auckland harbour on the latest leg of their tour Down Under.

William and Kate clearly relished the prospect of taking each other on but it was clear from the start the Duchess of Cambridge, a keen sailor, had the upper hand.

Kate left William in her wake as she took the helm of one of the Team New Zealand America's Cup yachts for almost the whole 90 minutes spent on the water.

Dressed for the occasion in a nautical blue and white striped top, matched with blue skinny jeans, she looked at ease and was clearly enjoying the afternoon on the water.

William had previously told New Zealand Prime Minister John Key that he would be victorious in the race, which was billed by some as a revenge match for a dragon boat competition the couple took part in during their tour of Canada in 2011.

Back then the Duke's boat won, and this time Kate could not hide her delight when she beat her husband and was seen punching the air on both occasions as her sleek racing yacht finished first.

Back on dry land, the Duke joked "we were sabotaged" and when someone said the Duchess was looking pleased he replied: "I bet she is. Selfless husband. I wanted a quiet night."

Eric Haagh, 36, the skipper of the Duke's boat said: "William was a good sailor but Kate pushed us around into a bad position. She did very well.

"William was very competitive right from the start - he didn't want to lose.

"When Kate won both the races he just said: 'At least she'll be happy'."

As they set off on their respective boats, the Duchess patted William on the back and said: "Take care."

He replied: "Yeah, see you later."

The skipper of Kate's boat was Dean Barker, Team New Zealand captain and a crew member of his nation's 2000 America's Cup team, who had taken William sailing in Auckland in 2010.

After the race, the Duke and Duchess had a thrilling, bouncy ride across the harbour in a Sealegs amphibious vehicle.

Afterwards they were given a miniature custom-made Sealegs for baby George.

Earlier, the couple met personnel and families at a Royal New Zealand Air Force base in Whenuapai, just outside Auckland.

Among them was Flight Lieutenant Andrew Fisher, who has spent more than three weeks trying to locate wreckage of missing flight MH370 off the coast of Perth, Australia.

Flt Lt Fisher said the duchess was keen to learn more about their search.

"She was interested in how we found it. It was intense flying. We flew around 110 hours in three weeks," he said.

The couple has now returned to Wellington to be reunited with Prince George, who is being looked after in the capital by his Spanish nanny, Maria Borrallo.