Today was to have been ‘Super Sunday’ at the America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth races, the final day of World Cup activities in Portsmouth, located on England’s southern coast.
Unfortunately the ghastly weather prompted officials to evacuate the area and cancel racing. Winds were in excess of 30 knots and the forecast called for them to stay that way throughout the day. Ben Ainslie shared a photo of the rain on the LandRoverBAR (Ben Ainslie Racing) Twitter account.
Unfortunately officials were forced to cancel the race and evacuate the area for safety reasons, a huge disappointment to all involved. Richard Palmer of The Express noted how unusual it is for royal engagements to change minute-by-minute, as today’s seemed to at times.
Sir Ben Ainslie, the most successful Olympic sailor in history, is setting his sights on the America’s Cup.
“This is the last great historic sporting prize never won by Great Britain. It has always been my ambition to mount a home challenge,” he said.
The Land Rover BAR team was in first place following yesterday’s events and officially declared as the winner of the event today. In second place: Emirates Team New Zealand. Below, a look at Saturday’s much sunnier skies, via the LandRoverBAR Instagram page.
It isn’t just the sailing races that were cancelled, Portsmouth had an entire range of activities set up for its Waterfront Festival. Yesterday’s crowd was estimated at 52,000 by the America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth officials. Events were also cancelled Friday night because of the weather, including a concert with the Royal Marines Band. Below, the crowd at one of yesterday’s concerts.
Once the cancellation of racing was announced Kate and William headed over to Ben Ainslie Racing Headquarters.
Two sisters presented Kate with presents for George and Charlotte: mini BAR tops personalized with their names.
More from the Portsmouth News:
Sisters Ella, 13, and Millie, 11, presented Kate with BAR tops with Charlotte and George written on them.
Ella said she was thrilled to meet the Duchess.
She said Kate loved the tops.
While chatting with the children, Kate shared a cute tidbit about Prince George, more from The Mirror’s Emily Nash:
Prince George tells people he’s three, instead of two, mum Kate has revealed.
The toddler, who celebrated his second birthday last Wednesday, “thinks he is older”, according to the Duchess of Cambridge.
The conversation occurred while meeting dignitaries and team members; back to the Emily Nash story in the Mirror
…the son of the team’s Head Coach Rob Wilson stepped forward to say “Hello Princess, my name is Freddie Wilson.
Mum Wendy Maxwell said: “She asked him how old he was and he said ‘I’m three’. “When I said he is only two, she said, ‘George says that. He thinks that he’s older”.
Of course, this wasn’t Kate’s first trip to the Ben Ainslie Racing headquarters; she visited back in February.
This afternoon Kate and William paid a visit to New Zealand’s team.
More from Stuff NZ:
Emirates Team New Zealand have the British summer to thank for an unscheduled royal visit.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made the surprise visit to the Portsmouth base after inclement weather put a stop to their plans to cheer on Ben Ainslie in the America’s Cup World Series.
Children who recently had their first sailing experience with the aid of the 1851 Trust also met with Kate; she is the Trust’s patron.
Kate and William wore personalized tops from the official Ben Ainslie Racing collection.
Product shots offer a better look at some of the details.
The tops are made of micro stretch fleece “for lightweight insulation…high stretch properties of this garment guarantee incredible comfort and ease of movement.” The Aura is £70, and Henri Lloyd said the top is now available online. The brand’s website offers a list of distributors for different countries/regions around the world, that page is here. The piece without any of the logos (Ben Ainslie racing, America’s Cup) is shown on the North American page here, priced at $69.
UPDATE: Henri Lloyd is making the items available to all shoppers. If interested in purchasing the Land Rover BAR gear email onlineteam@HenriLloyd.com.
Henri Lloyd is a heritage brand specializing in technical apparel for sailing, yachting and golf. The company provides official team gear for the Land Rover BAR Team. Below, company Chief Executive Paul Strzelecki and Sir Ben.
Initially many of us thought Kate was in her white and navy ME + EM Breton stripe top, but that isn’t the case. The stripes are just a bit different on today’s top; I think Kate may well have been wearing the Paige Long Sleeve top, also by Henri Lloyd. The product description notes the piece “…celebrates Henri Lloyd’s nautical heritage and dna..in a classic Breton stripe in a traditional cotton fabric.”
UPDATE: A number of people, including Kate’s Closet and What Would Kate Do? team, think Kate’s top may actually be another ME + EM style, the Breton stripe in white with black stripes. It looks like they are spot-on with the ID. The top is available in most sizes as of this writing, but that is unlikely to last.
Stephanie Champion Helton identified the jeans as being by Zara earlier today, yours truly missed that in the frenzy of the morning here on Planet Kate. Below, a closeup better shows the metal logo tag/tab on the back pocket.
Trophy presentations went on as planned; the Duke and Duchess were on hand to award those prizes. It must have been a treat to deliver the trophy for first place to the hometown crew, with second place going to a New Zealand, a commonwealth country where the duo actually raced America’s Cup class boats. For this portion of the day Kate switched to the navy Zara blazer worn several times previously, including at the races in New Zealand. Below, Kate and William with Sir Ben Ainslie during the awards presentation.
Both Sir Ben and Kate seemed to enjoy themselves despite the nasty weather conditions and canceled events.
Below you see Kate in the jacket as worn last year at the Commonwealth Games.
The Duchess also changed shoes for the awards ceremony, switching to her Corkswoon espadrille wedges by royal favorite Stuart Weitzman. The shoes are available in almost all sizes on the Stuart Weitzman website, retailing at $398.
Earlier in the day we saw Kate’s Sebago Balas again, the shoes beginning to show some wear, that’s not surprising considering how frequently we see them.
She also wore her Mappin and Webb Fortune pendant.
The races and most other activities associated with the America’s Cup World Series take place on HM Naval Base Portsmouth. While visiting today the Duke and Duchess were given more gifts for Charlotte and George. The Royal Navy gave them wooden replicas of two new aircraft carriers with rather impressive names. The wooden toys are waterproof and they float.
“We look forward to testing them in the bath,” William said after receiving them from the Royal Marines officer Colonel Mike Tanner, deputy commander of Portsmouth Naval Base.
A final photo from today, this one showing Kate and Rebecca Deacon, her personal assistant, as they arrived in Portsmouth.
I know many were disappointed that Kate didn’t wear something new or different. This is one of those times when I think the Duchess was on target in terms of her sartorial selections. She was wearing the official gear of the home racing team, it looks particularly good with jeans. The boat shoes can’t be faulted, they were ideal for the day’s activities. Arguably Kate could have worn khakis or different denim, and gone with Top-Siders instead of the Sebago boat shoes, but this is a time when I don’t think there was a lot of wiggle room on the fashions for the day.
- The Telegraph’s story about today’s events is here & its photo gallery is here; The Daily Mirror’s gallery is here and its live blog coverage is here; The Daily Mail article may be read here
- The Portsmouth News story is here, you can get a sense of the winds in this brief video
- Learn more about the 1851 Trust at the charity’s website here, via its Facebook page here, the group’s Twitter feed may be seen here; the Trust also has a strong Instagram presence here
- The America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth website is here, the Facebook page is here
- The Henri Lloyd website is here, the BAR gear is here, the company’s Facebook page is here and its Twitter feed here
- The LandRoverBAR (Ben Ainslie Racing) website is here, Facebook page is here and Instagram page is here
- There is a brief video here of Kate and William being greeted after arriving, and another here of Kate handing Sir Ben the trophy; both are by the Press Association’s Joe Pickover
- ITV’s coverage and video is here, a Kensington Palace 1-minute video of the awards presentation is here
- For an excellent backgrounder on the America’s Cup & Sir Ben Ainslie’s goals, click here for the BBC story
Micro stretch fleece for lightweight insulation. The ergonomic shape and high stretch properties of this garment guarantee incredible comfort and ease of movement. The extended half zip can be opened for extra venting. – See more at: http://www.henrilloyd.com/bar-aura-half-zip-wms-b20002-mrn#sthash.Np5gciqc.dpufMicro stretch fleece for lightweight insulation. The ergonomic shape and high stretch properties of this garment guarantee incredible comfort and ease of movement. The extended half zip can be opened for extra venting. – See more at: http://www.henrilloyd.com/bar-aura-half-zip-wms-b20002-mrn#sthash.Np5gciqc.dpuf