Heading image: © Tim Rooke / The Kings Cup 2019
Peter Greenhalgh, who joined Doyle Sails UK earlier this year, today sailed alongside the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as part of the inaugural King’s Cup in the Solent, UK.
A fleet of 8 high-performance Fast 40+ lined up outside of the Royal Yacht Squadron at Cowes on the Isle of Wight to compete in 2 races. Each of the 8 yachts represented a charity nominated by the British Royals and was helmed by a well-known celebrity.
Peter was onboard as downwind trimmer with Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge on the helm, whilst Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge skippered on another competing yacht.
Despite the regatta being brought forward by a day due to the forecast weather, the regatta attracted significant interest from the media and public. The purpose built grandstand in Cowes was full, there were spectators lining the shore and dozens of boats were out on the water in support creating a positive vibe.
Peter commented, “It was a serious privilege to be a part of the inaugural King’s Cup. I have sailed on the Fast 40’s before so it was a real honour to be invited to join the crew and I was very happy to be part of it.
“The Duchess was on the helm and whilst she has sailed a little before, she had never raced on anything like this. I think she was quite impressed with the scale and responsiveness of the boat. As soon as we were on the downwind legs I was relaying information to her on how to sail the boat fast and by the end of the day she had developed a really good feel for the boat.
“It was a fantastic event, there was such a good vibe from all the spectators and a friendly competition between the celebrities on board too. Kate did a great job of managing to smile and wave at everyone whilst also maintaining concentration on helming – she commented on how much she was enjoying taking part and doing something active.”
Bear Grylls, the well-known ex-SAS survival instructor, sailing on behalf of Tusk, the African Conservation Charity was the overall winner and lifted the King’s Cup, a trophy first presented by King George V in 1920.
Peter added “An event like this is great for our sport, it really helps put sailing into the public eye. There are so many celebrities known for different reasons, some of them have sailed before, others not, so this helps bring sailing closer to everyone and shows that you don’t need to have any experience to get on board, take part and have fun.
“This was also a fantastic way to raise awareness for the 8 charities and shows the power of our sport to create a positive impact. It’s been a great day for sailing and all the people involved, we need more events like this.”