AUCKLAND: Prince William’s forebears may once have boasted they ruled the waves, but it was his wife Kate who triumphed when the British royals staged a yacht race in New Zealand.
Under the tutelage of expert sailors from Team New Zealand, the pair took to Auckland Harbour in rival America’s Cup racing yachts for a maritime showdown that William joked beforehand contained “a bit of healthy competition”.
Dozens of spectator boats weighed anchor nearby, some sporting signs that read “Team Kate” or “Team Will”.
While the second in line to the throne had the edge in experience, having sailed with Team NZ before, it was Kate who claimed bragging rights, cruising to a 2-0 victory after winning both legs of their competition.
While they were on the water, a plane hired by lobby group Republic New Zealand flew overhead trailing a banner reading “Time for a Kiwi head of state”.
“Having the UK supply us with a head of state no longer works for New Zealand, we need our own head of state,” the group said in a statement.
There were no such sentiments among the flag-waving crowds, who cheered as the royal couple stayed to shake hands despite the return of the rainy weather that has dogged the first five days of their 10-day New Zealand tour. — AFP