Ellie Aldridge has been crowned women’s KiteFoil European champion while Guy Bridge picked up bronze in the men’s fleet to round off a successful season for the British Sailing Team kite contingent.
After being pipped to the top spot at the Formula Kite European Championships in August by Poland’s Julia Damasiewicz, Aldridge exacted her revenge over the 14-race regatta in Gran Canaria.
She comfortably took the top spot ahead of Damasiewicz, who had to settle for silver, while Spanish rival Gisela Pulido came home third.
The victory comes just days before Aldridge’s 24th birthday, and completes an impressive season that has included defending her Mixed Kite Relay European Championship title.
“A few weeks ago I don’t think anyone really expected this event to even happen, so it’s really amazing organisation to enable us to race safely for a final regatta at the end of the craziest year,” said Aldridge, from Poole, Dorset. “To get 65 competitors is definitely the biggest start line I’ve raced on for a while.
“The racing was tough with some challenging conditions so I’m very happy to come away at the front of the female fleet with the standard improving at every regatta. The past few months have been really good. I feel even more lucky and thankful now that we’ve been able to get some solid training in, and an event. I’m looking forwards to a full year of racing in 2021… hopefully!”
Bridge, the British Sailing Team’s only male rider at the competition, added another podium finish to his season tally which included bronze at the Mixed Kite Relay European Championships alongside Dabson.
“It was great to finish the year with a podium especially in this location,” the 21-year-old from Exmouth said. “We had strong and super-changeable conditions so it was a good test for the end of the year, to see where we were at and look to start to prepare for the major events going into next year.”
The British Sailing Team’s kite foil racers were recently honoured at the UK Sport PLx Awards, picking up Best Breakthrough Performance in recognition of their success over the past two years.
The KiteFoil European Championships was open to riders competing with any brand of kite and foil, rather than the Formula Kite Euros at which only Olympic equipment was allowed.
Kite foil racing will make its debut at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
For full results from the KiteFoil European Championships, click here.