The Duchess of Cambridge announces new sailling patronage

The Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, has become the royal patron of The 1851 Trust.

Prince William's sporty wife will now give her support to the Trust, which is the charitable arm of the UK's bid to enter a team in the 2017 America's Cup and bring the trophy back to Britain for the first time since 1851.

"I am delighted to be Royal Patron of The 1851 Trust," said the Duchess in a statement. "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.

Duchess Kate and Sir Ben Ainslie have previously carried out sailing-related engagements together

"It is a hugely exciting time for sailing as the British challenger bids to bring the America's Cup back to Britain," she added. "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."

In pictures: William and Kate's sporting moments

The 1851 Trust has also been launched with the support of four-time Olympic Gold Medalist Sir Ben Ainslie, whom the Duchess has previously met on several occasions.

Kate is an accomplished sailor

Working with people under the age of 25, The 1851 Trust hopes to inspire and engage a new generation through sailing, by giving them skills and training.

Kate is a talented sailor herself and was part of the crew on a round the world yacht expedition during her gap year.

The 31-year-old also showed off her skills during her royal tour of New Zealand in April, when she beat Prince William in a race around Auckland Harbour with Team NZ.

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