World's best Kite Foil athletes to compete off the coast of Eastney Beach for a shot at Paris 2024
and live on Freeview channel 276
150 Kite Foiling athletes from more than 35 nations will descend on Portsmouth for the sports European Championships, ahead of the its Olympic debut next year.
Portsmouth City Council's cabinet member for culture, leisure and economic development Cllr Steve Pitt said: ‘As the great waterfront city, we're honoured that Portsmouth was chosen to host the 2023 Formula Kite European Championships.
‘We're looking forward to working in partnership with the RYA to deliver a memorable event for residents and visitors alike, especially as this event is one of few opportunities to qualify for the kite foil racing events at the 2024 Olympics.’
Kite foiling sees riders ‘fly’ above the water on hydrofoils attached to boards, powered by huge kites which can propel them to speeds of up to 45 knots. Spectators on Eastney Beach will be able to watch the competition play out just a few hundred metres from the shore.
President of the International Kiteboarding Association Mirco Babini said: ‘We can’t wait to have our Europeans on the way to the Paris 2024 Games organised by the team that delivered the sport of sailing in the London 2012 Games. Alongside superb racing, we jointly aim to promote sustainability, equality and inclusion in a country that is a leader in adopting those values.’
Royal Yachting Association CEO Sara Sutcliffe added: ‘Kite foiling is the newest addition to the Olympic sailing slate and we couldn’t be more excited that some of the world’s best athletes will be racing on our waters during the big countdown to Paris 2024.
‘As spectator sports go it doesn’t get much more thrilling or faster than kite foiling. This will be an event the likes of which UK audiences won’t have seen before, and we look forward to welcoming Olympic racing back to our shores once more.’
The RYA will also host a ‘beach classroom’ on the shore to teach people about the sport and offer activities like kite flying.