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Kate Middleton catches up with Sir Ben Ainslie following return to London

The Duchess of Cambridge first met the Olympic sailor in 2012

Danielle Stacey

The Duchess of Cambridge has been busy with engagements and meetings this week after the royal family's summer break. Kate, 38, even got the chance to catch up with an old friend during a phone call on Wednesday.

The Court Circular, which is published in The Times and details all of the royal family's activities, says: "Her Royal Highness, Patron, the 1851 Trust, this afternoon held a meeting with Sir Benedict Ainslie (Captain, Team GB for the America's Cup) via telephone."

Kate has been royal patron of the 1851 Trust since 2014, a charity which aims to inspire a new generation through sailing and the marine industry.

READ: 22 of Kate Middleton's best sporty moments

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WATCH: William and Kate get competitive during sailing regatta - find out who won

Sir Ben, who is also a patron of the charity, is set to take part in the 36th America's Cup in Auckland, New Zealand in March 2021. 

The Duchess first met Olympic sailor Sir Ben Ainslie at the London 2012 Olympics, where he won his fourth gold medal.

The pair then teamed up in 2014 for the launch of the UK's America's Cup bid.

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The pair first met at the London 2012 Olympics

 Kate was given a tour of the Ben Ainslie Racing headquarters in Portsmouth by the sailing champion as part of her work with the 1851 Trust in February 2015.

The Duchess and husband Prince William have also shown their support for Sir Ben as he competed in the America's Cup in 2015 and 2016.

Sporty Kate also took to the waves as she joined the sailor for a training session in Portsmouth in 2016.

MORE: Kate Middleton spotted off-duty - and her skirt is so gorgeous

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Kate joined Sir Ben at a training session in 2016

The Duchess put her sailing skills to the test as she went head-to-head with William at the King's Cup sailing regatta off the Isle of Wight last summer.

Sadly, Kate ended up with the wooden spoon after finishing in last place, while the Duke's team came joint third.

The Court Circular also states that Kate held an Early Years meeting on Thursday. The Duchess undertook a mini tour of the UK in January 2020 to launch her landmark survey on early childhood.

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