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The Italian Job

Brit kite girls put on a show as Aldridge scoops world bronze

Britain’s female kitefoilers showed their strength with three riders finishing in the top seven at the World Championships – and Ellie Aldridge claiming yet another podium finish.

Aldridge took bronze as a thrilling week of intense racing in Cagliari, Sardinia, featuring the world’s best athletes came to climax.

Right behind Aldridge in the final table was teammate Katie Dabson, scoring her best ever result on the world stage as she came home in fourth.

After rocketing up the leaderboard towards the tail end of the regatta, Maddy Anderson also posted a personal best with a seventh-place finish.

“I’m really happy to be up in third place at the Worlds,” said Aldridge from Poole, who already had two bronze medals in 2022. “The first day wasn’t very good for me and I was a bit worried that it just wasn’t going to be my week, so I’m proud to have climbed back up despite a wobbly start.

“It was a shame I was too far away from the top two to really pressure them and push for the top spot, but we’ll get there.”

After earning a spot in the eight-person semi-final, Dabson, from Bedford, showed spectacular form to recover from two crashes, both while leading, to score a crucial win and book her place in the final.

“I’m coming away from the regatta super happy with the result and really pleased with how I raced,” she said. After a pretty consistent week I made life quite hard for myself in the semi-finals with quite a few mistakes in the first couple of races which put the pressure on to win the last race, but I’m glad I managed to deliver in the end.

“It’s awesome to see all the hard work we’ve all put in this year paying off, and I’m excited to keep the momentum going into training over the winter.”

Anderson also displayed impressive tenacity as she clawed her way up the leaderboard from a slow start to win a coveted place in the semis.

“Starting off the week with some big scores, I had to be the comeback kid to ensure a spot in the semi-finals,” she said. “It’s felt tricky for sure, but I’m super proud of my performance at various times throughout the week, and also my progression this year.”

Lily Young and Jemima Crathorne finished the event in 22nd and 23rd  respectively out of a fleet 58 women to round off an impressive performance by the British contingent.

In the men’s fleet, Guy Bridge was the sole Brit in action as Connor Bainbridge was forced to sit the regatta out due to injury.

Bridge recorded a string of top five finishes over the 15-race series, ending the competition in 17th overall.

“It’s been a great event – so good to see three of our girls in the top seven,” Bridge said. “For me it was mixed with ups and downs a few mistakes. Where the level this sport is right now it’s super tough to come back from, but I’m generally happy with how I sailed the event and came back from tricky situations.”

At the same time as the Formula Kite World Championship was taking place in Cagliari, Daisy Collingridge and Matilda Nicholls were in action across the pond at the ILCA World Championship in Kemah, Texas.

Both athletes had mixed results in the tricky Texan winds but proved their potential with a podium race finish each to their names.

Collingridge ended the regatta in 20th in the 85-boat fleet, while Nicholls was 24th.

The run of major events continues for the British Sailing Team with the iQFOiL World Championships in Brest, France, from October 17 to 22.


Full results

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Will Carson