WHAT, WHERE AND WHEN?
The Formula Kite World Championships will take place in Torregrande, Sardinia, from October 13 to 17. The event is part of the Open Water Challenge, which celebrates board sports including kite, wing foil and SUP.
A whole host of British athletes will be hitting the water. In the women’s fleet, two-time European champ Ellie Aldridge is joined by Katie Dabson, Maddy Anderson (pictured), Jemima Crathorne and Lily Young, who makes her return to competition following injury. The men’s fleet will see 2019 world bronze medallist Connor Bainbridge and 2020 European bronze medallist Guy Bridge look to come home with some silverware.
WHAT’S THE LOWDOWN?
This is a big one. It’s the first Formula Kite World Championships to take place since World Sailing voted in June to change the proposed competition format from a mixed relay to individual fleet racing. That means at Paris 2024 there will be two sets of kite medals, rather than just one. Up until this decision athletes had to team up with another athlete of the opposite sex. Now it’s all down to the individual rider. Athletes will compete in an opening series to determine the top 14 riders, who then go forward into the knockout medal series.
WHAT THEY SAY
“I’m looking forward to the 2021 world championships, the first worlds we’ve had in two years! At the last worlds in Lake Garda in 2019 I could barely get around the course without falling in, so I’m really excited to race against the best from all over the world now. We’ve raced and training with most of the top European athletes, but haven’t seen the Southern Hemisphere competitors for a few years. I just want to have fun racing and see where I’m at in the fleet. It’s going to be tough, but I can’t wait to get started” – Ellie Aldridge
“It’s great to be back kiting in Torregrande again after two years. I’m really looking forward to racing against some of the non-European riders who we haven’t raced against since the worlds here in 2019 due to covid restrictions. It will be interesting to see how the European fleet has progressed compared to them but I’m feeling prepared going into the regatta after having had a busy and productive summer of training and events” – Katie Dabson
“It’s good to be back in Torregrande; our Euros were here a couple years ago and it’s satisfying to compare the level I was at then to now, not only in terms of my speed and board handling but also my racing mindset. I’ll be happy with a performance that showcases a degree of levelheadedness out here. I’m also really looking forward to lining up in an all-female fleet again; the way our World Series currently works is that we’re often racing with the guys, so tactically it’s very different. In gold fleet racing at the Euros a couple of weeks ago it was clear the girls’ level has shot up, which is epic, but it means any small mistake was really costly, so aiming to keep it clean, fast and simple out here!” – Maddy Anderson
“It’s super exciting to have a World Championships again it’s the biggest event of the calendar year and not having one last year will definitely mean everyone is more hungry for this edition. The competition is as tough as it’s ever been so the racing should definitely be pretty exciting” – Guy Bridge
HOW TO FOLLOW
You can find the full results here.