WITH the whole nation looking on, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge hosted the King's Cup in Cowes — the home of sailing.

Yesterday's (Thursday) race saw Kate and William take to the water, joined by charity ambassador celebrities including Katie Thistleton, John Bishop, Helen Glover, Dan Snow, Fara Williams and Bear Grylls.

Emerging from the Royal Yacht Squadron, the celebrity sailors made their way to tenders that took them to their vessels.

Each individual climbed aboard their own personal Fast-40 — though if you had asked Dan Snow, he might have told you it was a Foiling 50 — and prepared to race.

The Duke and Duchess sailed for charities Child Bereavement UK and The Royal Foundation, respectively, with Dan Snow sailing for London’s Air Ambulance.

Bear Grylls sailed for Tusk, while Fara Williams and Helen Glover sailed for Centrepoint and Anna Freud.

John Bishop sailed for Action on Addiction, and Katie Thistleton sailed for Place2Be.

The first race was called to a halt and restarted, after Thistleton and Snow were deemed to be too far beyond the starting line.

Upon the restart, releasing their Spinnakers, Thistleton’s vessel took the early lead, with Grylls and the Duke in hot pursuit.

Eventually, Grylls snatched the lead, and shot well ahead, with Snow gradually creeping up the pecking order.

After a slow start, The Duchess struggled to catch up, and sat in last place for the majority of the race.

In the end, Grylls raced to victory, with Snow clinching second place, and the Duke finishing third.

The second race — following a further restart — saw all boats too far over the line except Grylls’.

With Grylls and company pressing on, every other vessel had to sail back and restart, or else they would be disqualified — although the Duchess and Glover carried on sailing, none the wiser.

At the end of the race, Grylls took first place, with Fara Williams in second, and Thistleton placing third.

Returning to shore, the overall winner — clinching the Kings Cup, which was historically presented in Cowes back in 1920 by the then king, King George V, and has been sitting in the Royal Yacht Squadron ever since — was Bear Grylls.

Dan Snow — presenting the awards — took second place, and The Duke and Fara Williams finished joint third.

The trophy for last place was presented to The Duchess, in the form of an enormous wooden spoon.

Speaking after his victory, ambassador, Bear Grylls, said: “This is on the shoulders of giants.

“Three of the giants today are my incredible crew, who carried me, Tusk, of course, and the incredible work they do throughout Africa, and thirdly, the Royal Highnesses for putting this together and having the vision.

“I was brought up on the Isle of Wight, and I used to get made to enter sailing races, and I tell you, I never won anything, I was always, always last, but I never gave up.

“And that journey from there to this is a privilege.”

Don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.