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Captain Kate rules the waves: Duchess of Cambridge is crowned queen of the ocean after beating William in yacht race

The Duchess of Cambridge ruled the waves today after she thrashed her husband in a yacht race around Auckland Harbour.

Standing at the wheel of an 80ft America’s Cup sailing vessel, Kate even gave William a cheeky victory salute as she sailed past him back to harbour.

The couple were in Auckland to visit the home of New Zealand’s America’s Cup team.

 
Ahoy, there! The Duchess confidently took the wheel of an Emirates Team New Zealand Americas Cup yacht as she sailed around Auckland Harbour in a race with William

Ahoy, there! The Duchess confidently took the wheel of an Emirates Team New Zealand Americas Cup yacht as she sailed around Auckland Harbour in a race with William

 
All smiles: The Duchess grinned broadly despite some unfavorable weather as they sailed the harbour

All smiles: The Duchess, a keen sailor, grinned broadly despite some unfavorable weather as she prepared to sail the harbour on Friday

 

 

 
Friendly fire: William had already predicted some competitiveness between himself and his wife, telling New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key there would be 'a bit of healthy competition'

No hard feelings: It was Kate who proved victorious, winning not one but two races against her husband

 

Once they reached open water, the Duke and Duchess were invited to take the helm of their two yachts, and race around a series of buoys.

The Duchess, wearing a white Breton-style striped top by Me and Em, skinny navy jeans, deck shoes and a baseball cap, with her hair in a ponytail, was out for revenge after the Duke beat her in a dragon boat race the last time they competed on the water, in Canada in 2011.

Earlier the couple had laughed and joked as they boarded another luxury boat, Imagine, where they changed out of their civvies into sailing gear.

 

 

 

 
Not so confident? The Duchess looks a little unsure of her sailing abilities

That's how it's done: The Duchess offered a sympathetic look to William after she beat him in not one but two races

 
The Duchess waved proudly to onlookers from her yacht
The Duchess appeared pensive for a moment before the race
 

The Duchess waved proudly to onlookers from her yacht, but did appear pensive for a moment

 

 

 
Safety first: The Duchess ensured her life jacket were strapped on tight before the race

Safety first: The Duchess ensured her life jacket was strapped on tight before the race

 

 

 

 

As they set off on their respective yachts the Duchess patted William on the back and said: 'Take care!'

'Yeah, see you later,' he replied.

Grant Dalton, the managing director of Emirates Team New Zealand, had already predicted the couple would give each other 'no quarter'.

And Dean Barker, the skipper of Team New Zealand who was on the team when his country successfully defended the Americas Cup in 2000, had previously met the Duke when he took him sailing in Auckland in 2010.

 
Friendly competition: The Duke lost the challenge on the seas to his wife in not one but two races

Friendly competition: The Duke lost the challenge on the seas to his wife in not one but two races

 

 

 

 

 
In it to win it: The Duke concentrated as he steered his yacht around the harbour in a race with his wife

In it to win it: The Duke concentrated as he steered his yacht around the harbour in a race with his wife

 

 
 
A Royally good race: The Duchess also appeared keen to win against her husband
This means war! The Duchess appeared to playfully call out to her competitior
 

A Royally good race: The Duchess appeared keen to win against her husband, playfully calling out to her competitor at one point

 

 

 

 

 
Keen sailor: During her gap year in 2001 Kate worked as a deckhand on a 72 foot sailing boat in the Solent, looking after important clients for companies including Barclays and BT

Keen sailor: During her gap year in 2001 Kate worked as a deckhand on a 72 foot sailing boat in the Solent, looking after important clients for companies including Barclays and BT

 

'At the time Prince William said Kate would be very envious of the fact that he had been sailing, because she was a very keen sailor in her early days,' he said.

'He was really into it, really quite focused on things. He did not mind lending a hand getting the sails up. He was not afraid to get his hands dirty.'

He said that outings such as this seemed to provide the Duke with a welcome break from the other engagements on a royal tour.

'It seems like it was an opportunity to catch his breath, ' he said.

 
Oops! The Duke got a little flustered trying to get through to the marina with his umbrella in tact
Oops! The Duke got a little flustered trying to get through to the marina with his umbrella in tact
 

Oops! The Duke got a little flustered trying to get through to the marina with his umbrella in tact

 

 

'With all the formal parts of the tour, the functions and the different appearances, it must be nice to do a few of the fun things like going for a sail. It's good to see that they are human and like to do all the things that we all like to do.'

Grant Dalton said the request to go sailing came from the Palace. 'As far as my understanding goes, they wanted to do it.

'There are no friends on the water, though. No quarter given. I'm sure that Prince William would not want to be beaten by his wife.'

The Duke was in NZL 41, which previously raced under the Japanese flag in the Louis Vuitton series. 

 
The Kate effect: The Duchess' Em and Me striped top, £48, is sure to be a sell out like so many of the fashion pieces she wears

The Kate effect: The Duchess' Em and Me striped top, £48, is sure to be a sell out like so many of the fashion pieces she wears

 

 
All in good fun: A keen sailor she is, but the Duchess didn't take the race too seriously, mucking around with the crew throughout the event

All in good fun: A keen sailor she is, but the Duchess didn't take the race too seriously, mucking around with the crew throughout the event

 

 
Coordinated couple: Kate and William are known to match their outfits, and it was no different as they donned identical black jackets presented to them by their sailing teams

Coordinated couple: Kate and William are known to match their outfits, and it was no different as they donned identical black jackets presented to them by their sailing teams

 

 
Winners are grinners: Kate clearly enjoyed her victory against William, laughing and smiling after the race

Winners are grinners: Kate clearly enjoyed her victory against William, laughing and smiling after the race

 

The Duchess was in NZL 68, a former training boat for Team New Zealand.

The couple arrived in Auckland amid squally showers, with a crowd of thousands lining the road to the harbour. 

 
Friends again: Kate and Wills share a tender moment after a competitive morning
Friends again: Kate and Wills share a tender moment after a competitive morning
 

Friends again: Kate and Wills share a tender moment after a competitive morning

 

During a walkabout Hayley Heartbreak, 30, an illustrator, presented the couple with a poster she had made showing the Duke and Duchess with George on a beach.

She said: "Kate said, 'Oh little George - you've got his likeness!' And William asked for a copy - they were really happy with it.

'I thought it would be nice to give them this, because it is a typical Kiwi thing - a day on the beach, making sandcastles, enjoying the sunshine. Unlike today.'

 
Victorious! Kate offered a thumbs up to the waiting crowd after pipping William at the post

Victorious! Kate offered a thumbs up to the waiting crowd after pipping William at the post

 

 

 

 
No hard feelings: The couple looked like they were able to put their competitive edge behind them after the race as they posed with the crew

No hard feelings: The couple looked like they were able to put their competitive edge behind them after the race as they posed with the crew

 

 
A tight race: The Duke and Duchess and their crews raced around Auckland Harbour

A tight race: The Duke and Duchess and their crews raced around Auckland Harbour

After returning to land, the Duke and Duchess boarded another type of boat entirely -  this time a Sealegs amphibious craft.

As the name suggests, the Sealegs is a boat that can be driven seamlessly from dry land into the water that is now being marketed around the world.

It took the royal party to Westpark Marina, where they were transported back to their jet and home to Prince George.

 
Riding along: After returning to land, the Duke and Duchess were back on the water on a Sealegs vessel

Riding along: After returning to land, the Duke and Duchess were back on the water on a Sealegs vessel

 

 
 
It will take the royal party to Westpark Marina, where they will be transported back to their jet and home to Prince George
The Sealegs is a boat that can be driven seamlessly from dry land into the water that is now being marketed around the world
 

The Sealegs is a boat that can be driven seamlessly from dry land into the water that is now being marketed around the world

 

 

 
The Sealegs took the royal party to Westpark Marina, where they were transported back to their jet and home to Prince George

The Sealegs took the royal party to Westpark Marina, where they were transported back to their jet and home to Prince George

 
Hold on! The Duke and Duchess pull into the Westpark Marina after their journey on the Sealegs. From the marina they will be transported back to their jet and home to see Prince George

Hold on! The Duke and Duchess pull into the Westpark Marina after their journey on the Sealegs

 

 

 
And they're off: The Royal couple faced off on Auckland Harbour, competing against each other in Emirates Team New Zealand Americas Cup yachts

And they're off: The Royal couple faced off on Auckland Harbour, competing against each other in Emirates Team New Zealand Americas Cup yachts

 

It was dress down Friday for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as they arrived in Auckland for a day of engagements Friday morning.

The couple began by visiting families at the largest RNZAF base in New Zealand at Whenuapai, home to more than a thousand serving airmen and women.

The meeting was a chance for the couple to greet staff and their families and thank them for their service. Many have recently served on operations overseas.

 

 

Getting clucky, Kate? The Duchess couldn't hide her joy over two baby girls

Getting clucky, Kate? The Duchess couldn't hide her joy over two baby girls

 

 

 

 
A Duchess in our midst: Kate, 32, charmed the waiting Air Force personnel

A Duchess in our midst: Kate, 32, charmed the waiting Air Force personnel

 

 
Sweet: A serving Air Force member and his family greet William, the young girl handing the Duke a gift

Sweet: A serving Air Force member and his family greet William, the young girl handing the Duke a gift

 

Prince William joked today how he and wife Kate were regularly being offered potential partners for little Prince George. 
New parents who met him at an air force base introduced him to their daughter Emily, who was born on July 31 - just nine days after George. 

'We mentioned how well-paired she and George would be in the future,' says mum Karen, 40. 

William replied, "There have been a few babies touted to us!" Karen adds, 'He could see the funny side.'

She and husband, aircraft technician Jason, 41, were among 200 RNZAF servicemen and women and families meeting the royal couple in a hanger at an air base just outside Auckland on Friday. "We were talking about their similar ages of the babies and he said how much fun they were,' Karen, a paramedic adds. "He was very personable."

Emily spat out her dummy just as William approached and he gallantly stooped to pick it up. 'He said he was well-practiced at baby duties,' Karen adds.

 

 
What's so funny? A member of the Air Force has the Duchess in giggles

What's so funny? A member of the Air Force has the Duchess in giggles

 

 
Smile for the Duchess: Kate attempted to get a small child to crack a grin as she greeted RNZAF personnel and their families

Smile for the Duchess: Kate attempted to get a small child to crack a grin as she greeted RNZAF personnel and their families

 

And William reassured another young couple with a five month old baby that things get easier with the passing months. Beej (corr) Williams, a sgt aircraft technician was with his wife Leanne Williams, 36, who cradled five month old daughter Haley Beej says, 'William mentioned that at around five months George started sleeping mostly through the night and it was easier from that point. He was saying you have good times ahead.'

Kate, in Me & Em breton-style top and navy Zara jacket and navy skinny jeans, worked one side of an aircraft hanger, while William worked the other. 
The couple arrived from Wellington on the same RNZAF Boeing 757 that they'd been flown into the country on Monday.

Kate asked some of the young parents how it was being a mother and whether they had taken maternity leave. She was given was lollipop sweets which she shook playfully in front of one baby and sympathised over the parent-baby life balance. 

 
Touch down: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived at Whenuapai Royal New Zealand Air Force base just outside of Auckland on Friday

Touch down: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived at Whenuapai Royal New Zealand Air Force base just outside of Auckland on Friday

 

 

 

 
Coordinated couple: Both Kate and William wore blue. The Duchess donned a blazer by Zara and striped top by Me and Em which she paired with jeans and Russell and Bromley wedge heels, meanwhile the Duke also wore a blue woollen jumper which he paired with a light coloured shirt and trousers
Warm welcome: The Cambridges were met by RNZAF officials after they touched down on the tarmac
 

Warm welcome: The Cambridges were met by RNZAF officials after they touched down on the tarmac

 

 
The grand tour: The Royal couple spoke to each other with interest as they were shown around the base at Whenuapai, just outside of Auckland

The grand tour: The Royal couple spoke to each other with interest as they were shown around the base at Whenuapai, just outside of Auckland

 

 
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived at Whenuapai Royal New Zealand Air Force base just outside of Auckland on Friday
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived at Whenuapai Royal New Zealand Air Force base just outside of Auckland on Friday
 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived at Whenuapai Royal New Zealand Air Force base just outside of Auckland on Friday

 

Melissa Tilbury, 28, who held baby five month old Madeleine said, 'She said when George was much younger William was away a lot in the beginning -- but that you get by.'

Madeleine had been getting sleepy and Kate had some flowers to entertain her. 'She was really good with Madeleine,' Melissa -- who's married to the base's accountant Jono Tilbuy, 30. 'She spoke to us about the balance, about having the time as a couple and with the baby.'

Flight lieutenant Andy Armstrong praised the couple for coming to the base. William only left the RAF, where he was a search and rescue helicopter pilot, last year. 'It's an honour to have them here and for them to meet our vets yesterday. It's poignant for all of us New Zealanders.'

On Saturday William will visit Pacific Aerospace, while Kate will visit Rainbow Place Children’s Hospice.

The Royal couple will fittingly open the Cambridge velodrome in Hamilton and visit Cambridge War Memorial. 

 

 

 
 
All smiles: The duchess grinned broadly as she greeted families at the Air Force hangar
Good times: Kate looked to be enjoying the interaction with the Royal New Zealand Air Force families
 

All smiles: The duchess grinned broadly as she interacted with the Royal New Zealand Air Force families

 
Meanwhile some Royal supporters made their presence known on the water as well as on land

Royal supporters made their presence known on the water as well as on land

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
A small plane displays a protest banner in the sky above where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be aboard a yacht on Auckland Harbour

Meanwhile a small plane displays a protest banner in the sky above where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be aboard a yacht on Auckland Harbour 

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26 Aug
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