HRH The Duchess of Cambridge visited Portsmouth on behalf of the 1851 Trust, on May 20th. The Duchess is the Royal patron of the Trust, which is run by Ben Ainslie Racing. She she opened a new Tech Deck education centre. Later she sailed on the Solent with Sir Ben Ainslie, the Olympic sailor, and his America’s Cup team.
The Duchess started her day at the Land Rover BAR team headquarters, where she opened the new Tech Deck education centre. The Centre is designed to engage people in the sport through exhibits showcasing design and construction elements of World Cup vessels. She met schoolchildren who are set to try out sailing last summer with Go Sail, a program run by the U.K. Sailing Academy. Ashlyn Collins, 15, told PEOPLE, “She asked us if we had ever been sailing, whether we were going to be sailing, she asked us if we enjoy sport and are we looking forward to it.It was so amazing. You see her on TV, you kind of don’t think of her as a real person and then to meet her was amazing. ” The Duchess was also shown a bone conductor radio kit which transmits sound through a pad placed on the forehead. After trying it out, she said: “It’s fantastic, it’s as if it comes straight through your head.” She officially opened the Tech Centre by unveiling a mural, that she helped paint during her visit to Portsmouth in February, 2015.
The Duchess also went sailing out on the Solent with Sir Ben Ainslie, the Olympic hero, and his America’s Cup team. She even took the helm for half an hour, steering the boat at speeds up to 40mph. Sir Ben said: ‘The Duchess was steering the boat for about half of the session and I think the guys were all really impressed with how well she had sailed. She had done a bit of sailing before.’We had a great sail, it was a blast and she thoroughly enjoyed it.’ According to Richard Palmer’s story in The Express : Kate went out in the team’s test boat T1 – a foiling AC45 catamaran – and took control, steering the boat out on the racecourse for the forthcoming Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event in Portsmouth in July. When Kate, a keen yachtswoman in her youth, was introduced to some of the young sailors outside the team headquarters, she told one group: “I’d really like to get out on the water more.”
To open the Tech Deck centre the Duchess repeated an Alexander Mcqueen skirt and blouse. She also wore her sapphire and diamond earrings, made from a pair belonging to the late Diana, Princess of Wales and her engagement ring. She took her jewelry off to go sailing, when she changed into racing gear by Henri Lloyd, the firm that outfits the Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing team. She was also photographed wearing a black woven jumper, jeans, and Adidas sneakers when departing.