The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined Emirates Team New Zealand for a taste of match racing on Auckland Harbour.
With crowds lining vantage points around the Viaduct and the harbour, the Duke at the helm of NZL68 and the Duchess on NZL41 – both boats from the America’s Cup monohull era – had two races on the inner harbour.
Grant Dalton called tactics for The Duke, Dean Barker for the Duchess.
The race yachts – now owned by Explore Group – were crewed by a mix of Emirates Team New Zealand members, RNZYS youth training scheme members and young sailors form Auckland yacht clubs.
The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron laid a course between the bridge and Princes Wharf. Rain was in the air; a heavy shower passed over when they arrived at the Viaduct Harbour, and there was not a lot of breeze.
Racing got underway shortly before 2pm. The rain had stopped and a west-southwesterly breeze filled in enough to ensure some good racing.
Everyone agreed the result didn’t matter, but for the record Team Duchess won both races. And just like the real America’s Cup, there was no second.