Enda Kenny and Bear Grylls win charity royal regatta

Former taoiseach part of victorious crew at event off the Isle of Wight on Thursday

British adventurer Bear Grylls holds the cup with former taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

British adventurer Bear Grylls holds the cup with former taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

 

Former taoiseach Enda Kenny and adventurer Bear Grylls formed a winning partnership at a charity sailing event organised by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge off the Isle of Wight on Thursday.

The inaugural regatta of The King’s Cup was established to raise awareness and funds for eight charities supported by William and Kate.

The competition saw celebrity skippers captain boats of professional sailors, in a two-race event.

Photos released by Kensington Palace show Mr Kenny, Grylls and their team lifting The King’s Cup, a trophy first presented by King George V in 1920. No mention of the former taoiseach was made on social media.

Bear Grylls (centre) holds The King’s Cup after his crew’s winning perofrmance at a royal regatta on Thursday, alongside former taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photograph: Tusk/Twitter
Bear Grylls (centre) holds The King’s Cup after his crew’s winning perofrmance at a royal regatta on Thursday, alongside former taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photograph: Tusk/Twitter

The yacht sailed by Mr Kenny and Grylls came in first place, followed by that of BBC presenter Dan Snow, who finished just ahead of Prince William. Kate picked up the wooden spoon, in last place.

The former taoiseach and the adventurer were representing Tusk, a wildlife and conservation charity active in Africa.

According to Tusk, the Mayo TD was participating as an ambassador of the Japanese NGO International Sports Promotion Society, a major financial backer of Tusk’s activities.

The NGO, also known as ISPS, was founded by Japanese religious leader Haruhisa Handa, with the aim of promoting blind golf and several other sports for people with disabilities. Other ISPS ambassadors include golfers Padraig Harrington and Ernie Els, and New Zealand rugby player Dan Carter.

The event was organised by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge off the Isle of Wight. Photograph: Tusk/Twitter
The event was organised by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge off the Isle of Wight. Photograph: Tusk/Twitter

In his role as Patron and Ambassador, Mr Kenny appears at several events that promote the power of sport. He was previously seen in royal company last July when he joined Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at a polo match sponsored by ISPS, which raised €1.1 million for children affected by HIV.

Among the other charities represented at the King’s Cup were mental health organisation, Place2be, Child Bereavement UK and the Royal Foundation, a philanthropic fun run by the Duke and Duchess.

The event was watched by 800 spectators, including Mr Kenny’s wife, Fionnuala, and William and Kate’s children, George and Charlotte, who took in the action from a separate boat.