Competitive Spirit

04.11.145:48 AM ET

Kate Rules The Waves And Thrashes William

Young royals race each other on yachts round Auckland harbor

"As everyone probably knows, the Duke and Duchess are just a little competitive," a royal aide told the Daily Beast when their "informal" sailing race against each other in Auckland Harbor was initially announced, and today we got to see just what their conjugal competitive spirit entails, as Kate thrashed William in a series of races after masterfully forcing him into a weak position.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - APRIL 11:  Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge helms an America's Cup yacht as she races Prince William, Duke of Cambridge in Auckland Harbour on April 11, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand, the first official trip overseas with their son, Prince George of Cambridge.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Chris Jackson

As they set off on their respective yachts the Duchess patted William on the back and said: "Take care!"

"Yeah, see you later," he replied.

However his confidence was misplaced, and Kate, who crewed on a round the world yacht during her gap year, comprehensively defeated her prince.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - APRIL 11:  Team New Zealand's Dean Barker and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge return from sailing where the Duchess and her crew beat Prince William and his crew onTeam New Zealand's yachts at the Viaduct Basin on April 11, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand, the first official trip overseas with their son, Prince George of Cambridge.  (Photo by Fiona Goodall-Pool/Getty Images)
Pool

Kate - appropriately turned out in a Breton nautical top - gave William a fist-pump salute as she sailed past him back to harbour on board the Emirates-sponsored America's Cup craft.

As William disembarked his yacht he joked: "We were sabotaged!"

There was an element of truth to this claim; Eric Haagh, 36, the skipper of the Duke’s boat, told the Daily Telegraph: “William was a bit nervous at the start. These boats are very powerful and he just wanted to get on the grinder (sail winch) to begin with.”

He said the vessel had developed a problem with a lock at the top of the main sail, which locks it onto the mast, meaning it ended up out of shape.

There were also problems with the spinnaker sail.

An observer said the Duchess was looking pleased and William replied, "I just wanted a quiet night."

The couple were in Auckland to visit the home of New Zealand’s America’s Cup team.

After the race the Duke and Duchess had a thrilling, bouncy ride across the harbour in an amphibious vehicle. Both the Duke and Duchess grinned broadly as they took turns at the wheel of the Sealegs, which reached speeds of 40 knots.

Inside baseball info: The Duke was in NZL 68, and the Duchess was in NZL 41, which previously raced under the Japanese flag in the Louis Vuitton series.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - APRIL 11:  Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge travel on the amphibious craft 'sealegs' in Auckland Harbour on April 11, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand, the first official trip overseas with their son, Prince George of Cambridge.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Chris Jackson