Looking every bit the part in a nautical themed navy and cream Alexander McQueen blouse and skirt, the Duchess of Cambridge was in Portsmouth to visit the Land Rover BAR America’s Cup headquarters.
As Royal Patron of the 1851 Trust, the Duchess was there to officially open the ‘Tech Deck’ and new visitor’s centre.
Sir Ben Ainslie accompanied Kate through the opening. The two new centres are designed to assist the 1851 Trust’s goal of “inspiring a new generation through sailing and the marine industry.”
The ‘Tech Deck’ Education Centre demonstrates the technology used by Sir Ben and his team who are hoping to win the 2017 America’s Cup on behalf of Britain. The last time a British team won was in 1851.
Sir Ben won the 34th America’s Cup when he was a member of Oracle Team USA. He launched his own team with the Duchess in 2014 in hopes of bringing the cup home.
After touring the new centre and speaking to students from Brune Park Community School in Gosport, Hants, the Duchess along with Sir Ben jumped on board an AC45 catamaran. Changing out of her previous attire into a regulation sailing outfit complete with a life jacket and helmet, Kate took part in an hour-long training circuit of the Solent where the catamaran reached a top speed of 34 knots. Having past sailing experience, Kate pitched in with the rigging and took a turn as skipper for some time.
Kate also launched a project that is run by the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation and the Trust together with UKSA that helps promote sailing to children from all backgrounds. She spoke to seven students who are taking part in the #STEMCREW digital workshop. The workshop encourages youth to engage in Stem (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) subjects through connecting it to the America’s Cup challenge.