Kensington Palace has announced Prince William will lead his team on behalf of his patronage Child Bereavement UK, while Duchess Kate will compete for The Royal Foundation. The Aug. 9 event will also benefit some of the pair’s favoured charities such as Centrepoint, Tusk and London’s Air Ambulance Charity’s 30th Anniversary Campaign, Action on Addiction, Place2Be and the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.
Celebrities who’ll harness the power of the wind for charity include Olympic champion rower Helen Glover, adventurer Bear Grylls and stand-up comedian John Bishop . They'll represent the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Famililes, Tusk and Action on Addiction, respectively. The BBC’s Katie Thistleton will helm a boat for Place2Be. England women’s soccer player Fara Williams will skipper on behalf of Centrepoint, while TV historian Dan Snow will take the wheel for London’s Air Ambulance Charity.
The winning team will win The King’s Cup, a historic trophy first presented by King George V at Cowes’ Royal Yacht Squadron in 1920. It’s believed the duke and duchess want to see the regatta become an annual event.
In July, it was revealed Kate and William will both be skippers (that’s a sailing term for being in command of a vessel) on two boats in the eight-boat race that will take place off Cowes, which is on the Isle of Wight. The vessels are high-performance boats with crews of 12 people, according to the event’s website.
Folks in Cowes were also given details on how they could take in the event — at a 500-seat grandstand at the SailGP Race Village, where the race will be broadcast on huge screens.
Both William and Kate are avid sailors and boaters, and this isn’t the first time they have competed in a yachting race. In 2014, when the couple were on tour in New Zealand, they tested out some America’s Cup yachts in a race – and Kate beat William! The Duke of Cambridge’s boat unfortunately had to deal with a problem with its sails that day, and he later joked he had been “sabotaged.” Uh oh! The two also went head-to-head in a dragon boat race while in Canada in 2011, just after they’d married.
Kate has been a keen sailor since childhood. Between high school and university, the duchess crewed a Round the World Challenge boat, and also worked as a deckhand when she was a student, according to Express.