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William and Kate move regatta forward a day due to bad weather

It was feared forecast heavy rain and wind would interrupt the King’s Cup event, so it will now take place on Thursday.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will compete against each other at the event (Adam Davy/PA)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will compete against each other at the event (Adam Davy/PA)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will stage their King’s Cup yachting regatta a day earlier than planned because of forecast bad weather, Kensington Palace has said.

William and Kate will take part in the event off the Isle of Wight on Thursday, not Friday as originally scheduled, with arrangements for the public viewing the spectacle remaining the same.

The couple will compete against a host of celebrities, including stand-up John Bishop and adventurer Bear Grylls, when they go head-to-head in the charity race.

Heavy rain has been forecast for much of the country on Friday with strong winds also expected, especially in the south, which could have proved a problem for the sailors taking part in the event.

The yachts will represent causes supported by the duke and duchess and will race in the waters around Cowes.

William will compete on behalf of Child Bereavement UK, England Women’s footballer Fara Williams represents Centrepoint, television presenter Dan Snow will race for London’s Air Ambulance Charity’s 30th anniversary campaign, and Grylls will skipper a yacht for wildlife conservation organisation Tusk.

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Adventurer Bear Grylls will be among the competitors in the race (Yui Mok/PA)

Kate has chosen four of her patronages and will compete on behalf of the Royal Foundation, in connection with her work on the early years development of children.

Bishop will compete for Action on Addiction, BBC presenter Katie Thistleton will support Place2Be, and Olympic champion rower Helen Glover will take part for the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.

The winning team will be awarded the King’s Cup, a trophy first presented by King George V at Cowes’ Royal Yacht Squadron in 1920.

William and Kate hope the King’s Cup regatta will become an annual event, increasing awareness of the benefits of sport, while also raising support and funds for their causes.

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William and Kate racing one another in dragon boats in 2011 (PA)

The event will also give the couple the chance to renew their sporting rivalry.

The duke trounced his wife when they competed in a dragon boat race in Canada in 2011, but Kate got her revenge three years later when she won a sailing event in Auckland during their tour of New Zealand.

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The couple faced off again in 2017 in Heidelberg (Jane Barlow/PA)

William took the honours again during a visit to the German city of Heidelberg in 2017 when he was victorious in a riverboat race against his wife.

Members of the public can watch the race from the SailGP Race Village along the Cowes foreshore, which is free to access and will include an 800-seat grandstand.

Footage from the race will play on screens across the town and there will be a number of family-friendly activities and exhibits to promote sailing around the event, including initiatives and programmes for children and young people.

PA

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