Prince William Beats Kate in Friendly Dragon Boat Race

Plus, the prince shows off his "waterbirding" skills on Prince Edward Island

Photo: Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press,/AP

It started with some friendly rivalry and ended with a consoling hug from the winning prince.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge went head to head in a dragon boat race across Dalvay Lake in Canada Monday.

The royal couple, who enjoy battling it out in tennis and other sports, showed off their competitive spirits at the Prince Edward Island boat race, in which they lead teams of local athletes.

PHOTOS: Prince William & Kate Middleton Take Canada!

Asked who was going to win, William told PEOPLE, “We are. Of course!” When Kate approached with her team, she was less certain. Asked if she would win, the duchess replied: “Not sure about that. I’m feeling slightly nervous.”

Kate, in open-necked sweatshirt and slim navy trousers, was asked by photographers if she would stand at the bow of the boat the whole way. “I’ll try to!” she answered.

At the end of the race, it was William’s team that came in first by a third of a length. William gave Kate a hug as they stepped off the jetty, but showed no signs of regretting his victory. “No chivalry!” he said as he accepted the prize of a bottle of champagne.

A Water Landing

Earlier in the day, Prince William demonstrated “waterbirding” – a technique developed in Canada to safely land a helicopter in water in case of an emergency – before a captive audience. Most excited: his wife, who snapped pictures at the edge of the lake as he successfully executed the maneuver several times.

A trained search and rescue pilot for the Royal Air Force, William was joined on the gray Sea King helicopter by Colonel Sam Michaud and Major Patrick MacNamara of the Canadian Armed Forces. They demonstrated the technique three times. The first was just a training exercise. But for the second and third attempts, William piloted the chopper, carrying out the landing by wearing a mask to stop him from accessing other visual information.

After each successful landing, the helicopter glided along the lake.

It’s a skill that will serve him well once he returns to Anglesey, Wales, where his missions take him flying over the Atlantic Ocean.

“He’ll be the envy of his crew and colleagues back at RAF Valley,” a royal source said.

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