Duchess of Cambridge Kate Takes on New Charity

PHOTO: Kate Middleton races the New Zealands Americas Cup Team yacht during their visit to Auckland Harbour in this, April 11, 2014, file photo in Auckland, New Zealand. Samir Hussein/Getty Images
Kate Middleton races the New Zealand's Americas Cup Team yacht during their visit to Auckland Harbour in this, April 11, 2014, file photo in Auckland, New Zealand.

The Duchess of Cambridge will take on a new role as Royal Patrol for the 1851 Trust, an organization working to bring the America’s Cup back to her native Great Britain.

"I am delighted to be Royal Patron of The 1851 Trust,” Kate, 32, said in a statement released by Kensington Palace today. “I feel very fortunate to have enjoyed sailing from a young age and I know it is a great way of providing young people with the opportunity to develop skills and confidence."

Kate, an avid sailor who even spent her gap year crewing on a boat, publicly demonstrated her sailing prowess last April by twice beating her husband, Prince William, while captaining an America’s Cup yacht in Waitemata Harbour off the coast of Auckland, New Zealand, where the royals were on an official tour.

In her role, Kate will serve side-by-side with British sailing champion Sir Ben Ainslie on the 1851 Trust. Ainslie has won five consecutive Olympic sailing medals and is credited with allowing the Americans to win the last America’s Cup race, just narrowly edging out New Zealand.

Shortly after the America’s Cup victory, Ainslie announced his interest in enabling a British team to compete in the America’s Cup Race.

While yachting’s most famous sailing race takes its name from America’s first victory in 1851, the first race actually took place in Britain around the Isle of Wight.

The “Auld Cup,” as it was originally called, was brought home to the U.S. when they scored victory and it has remained there for much of its history.

Britain has yet to win the Cup back, something Ainslie and Kate hope to change.

“It is a hugely exciting time for sailing as the British challenger bids to bring the America's Cup back to Britain,” Kate said in the Palace’s statement. “I am looking forward to being part of this journey and I hope that through the 1851 Trust we can engage and inspire a new generation into sailing along the way."

Kate, who is pregnant with her second child with Prince William, is also a patron to a group of children's hospices, an art therapy and addiction charity and London's National Portrait Gallery, among others.