The Duchess of Cambridge, Royal Patron of the 1851 Trust, visited Plymouth to meet with young people taking part in the Trust’s activities to promote sustainability and get a taste of the incredible speed and skill involved in the SailGP – the global racing championship taking place in Plymouth that weekend.
The 1851 Trust works to inspire young people through sport into science and technology and more recently to take action to protect nature, people, our oceans and the planet with their climate education platform, Protect our Future. The aim of the programme is to empower and equip young people and educators with skills and knowledge to understand climate science and take positive action.
In Plymouth, Her Royal Highness joined a group of children taking part in the Protect Our Future programme by the 1851 Trust, the official charity of the Great Britain SailGP Team. The group were learning about seagrass, one of the most important natural tools in countering damaging changes to our climate. As part of the activity, the children helped to make seagrass mats which can be planted off Plymouth Sound to improve marine health and contribute to blue carbon capture.
Safeguarding the oceans and enjoying them responsibly ensures future generations have the same opportunity, and its therefore appropriate that the SailGP, the first climate positive sport, should be taking place that weekend on waters that have benefited from the Trust’s programme.
After spending time ashore with Protect Our Future, Her Royal Highness joined the British team aboard their F50 foiling catamaran to take part in a friendly ‘Commonwealth Race’ against their New Zealand rivals, ahead of the final day of the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix. The New Zealand Team hosted environmentalist Lewis Pugh as its Guest Racer.
With Sir Ben Ainslie at the helm, The Duchess became a member of the British crew, working with the rest of the team to race the boat at speeds of up to 50 knots (more than 55 mph) against a skilled New Zealand outfit helmed by Peter Burling.