The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge battled monsoon-like rain in the Bahamas as they raced in a regatta against each other – but William sailed to victory.
Torrential rain dogged the first full day of the couple’s tour of the Caribbean nation as they met schoolchildren, listened to the experiences of frontline workers dealing with the pandemic and enjoyed a carnival-like Junkanoo parade.
The couple changed from their smart attire, after touring the primary school and chatting to ambulance and medical workers, into casual shorts and short-sleeved tops to take part in the Platinum Jubilee Regatta in the waters off Montagu Beach.
But just a few minutes after leaving land, to watch the end of a race between young people from the Royal Nassau Sailing Club, the heavens opened.
The couple continued with their activity and later joined crews sailing 21ft Class B sloops, with five vessels in total racing.
Jimmie Lowe, director of sailing at the Bahamas Sailing Association, said William had steered his boat to victory around a three-and-a-half mile course after being handed control of the tiller once they had rounded the first point.
He said: “The skipper of the Susan Chase gave the helm to the prince and he sailed the boat all the way to the finish.”
The director also revealed that Kate’s boat had suffered a technical problem with its rudder that lost the vessel time at the start.
“They had to drop the sail down, which cost them a good 50 metres at the start of the race,” he said.
Mr Lowe explained that visibility on the course around waters off the capital Nassau had been down to 150ft at one point, which delayed the start.
“It rained during the entire race. It was a torrential downpour,” he said.
William came away with bragging rights after securing his second consecutive win on water over Kate, who came last. She also lost to her husband in the King’s Cup charity regatta off the Isle of Wight in 2019 when her boat was disqualified.
Kate triumphed when the ultra competitive couple raced yachts in New Zealand in 2014.
The sloop, immortalised in the Beach Boys song Sloop John B about roaming around Nassau town, is a cherished boat in the Bahamas and the Platinum Jubilee Regatta was a chance for people to celebrate the return of racing for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic two years ago.
It was also a tip of the hat to William’s late grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh as the young people were from the Royal Nassau Sailing Club supported by Philip.
Philip watched the King’s Cup Series from the Royal Nassau Sailing Club in 1959, enjoyed sailing there, and became Honorary Commodore and Honorary Life Member of the club.