The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton has experienced the power and speed of Great Britain's cutting-edge F50 first hand after taking the wheel in Plymouth.

Her Royal Highness stepped on board Ben Ainslie’s electric blue F50 ahead of official racing for a friendly Commonwealth race against UN Patron from the Ocean Lewis Pugh on board New Zealand.

Great Britain Sail Grand Prix | Plymouth | Season 3 | Duchess of Cambridge

And the presence of Her Royal Highness on board paid off for the British team, which soundly beat New Zealand on the iconic waters of Plymouth Sound.

Season 3 // Great Britain Sail Grand Prix // Great Britain celebrate in Commonwealth Race

Speaking about the royal visit in a pre-race press conference, Ainslie described Her Royal Highness as ‘a really good sailor in her own right’.

Season 3 // Great Britain Sail Grand Prix // Duchess of Cambridge with Ben Ainslie

“She has sailed with me on foiling boats as well so we’re expecting a little bit of extra help,” he said.

As part of her visit to Plymouth, Her Royal Highness also visited a group of young people in her role as Royal Patron of the 1851 Trust - Great Britain’s Race for the Future partner - and took part in a seagrass planting activity.

Season 3 // Great Britain Sail Grand Prix // Close up on Duchess of Cambridge on board GBR F50

Following the Commonwealth race, home favourites Great Britain and the rest of the SailGP fleet will resume official racing at 2pm BST.