17 stunning pictures from the Kitefoil championship event in Portsmouth

Ellie Aldridge said her international rivals have “something to watch out for” as she was crowned European kitefoil champion on home waters.

The British Sailing Team’s Aldridge rounded off a stellar season with victory at the 2023 Formula Kite European Championships in Portsmouth, a key result with the Paris 2024 Olympics less than a year away. The win came off the back of silver medals at the Paris 2024 test event in July and the Sailing World Championships in August.

Aldridge dominated the 41-strong women’s fleet over four days of high-octane racing off Eastney Beach, sealing victory despite an unforced crash just metres from the finish line.

“Winning the European Championships in the UK is an absolute dream,” said Aldridge, from Poole, Dorset. “I didn’t make it easy for myself with the crash right at the end of the first race of the finals, but I got back up, got back into it and won the next race to take the title.”

In the men’s fleet British medal hope Connor Bainbridge went into the semi-finals in third but was knocked out by France’s Maxime Nocher. Bainbridge finished fifth overall but crucially Germany’s Jannis Maus was fourth, bagging the one nation for Paris 2024 spot up for grabs at the regatta.

Pictures by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

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