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Connor Bainbridge completes Team GB's 14-athlete sailing team for Paris 2024

by British Sailing Team 3 May 15:13 BST
Connor Bainbridge completes Team GB's 14-athlete sailing team for Paris 2024 © Sailing Energy

Connor Bainbridge has today been named as Team GB's men's kite athlete for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, completing the 14-strong sailing team.

Bainbridge earns his selection for Team GB following his victory at the French Olympic Week regatta last week, securing one of the five country quota places.

"It has always been my dream to go to the Olympics and it's an unbelievable feeling for that to become a reality," said the 30-year-old from Halifax, West Yorkshire.

"It's definitely not been a straight or easy road to get here, with so many twists and turns over my whole career since I started windsurfing on a freezing cold lake in West Yorkshire, but it's all been worth it and I can't wait to represent Team GB at this summer's Olympics."

Bainbridge won silver at the Paris 2024 sailing test event last summer, but narrowly missed opportunities to qualify Britain for a quota spot at the 2023 World Championships and European Championships.

He made amends for it at French Olympic Week, dominating the 'Last Chance Regatta' fleet for unqualified nations.

Bainbridge, who now lives in Portland, Dorset, won nine of the 15 races, and confirmed his overall victory by taking the top spot in the four-athlete final.

Mark England, Team GB Chef de Mission, said: "After narrowly missing out on selection last summer I am delighted to welcome Connor to Team GB for Paris 2024. Congratulations, also, to British Sailing who have qualified a full complement of sailors for the Games. We look forward watching them take to the waters of Marseille in three months' time."

Bainbridge will join Ellie Aldridge as Britain's first ever representatives in the Formula Kite class, a new addition to the Olympic sailing roster for Paris 2024.

It will be the fastest event in the Summer Olympics with athletes hitting speeds of up to 50 miles an hour.

The athletes ride a short board with a hydrofoil fitted to it, lifting them around a metre clear of the water.

The power comes from huge kites which the athletes control using special lines attached to a bar. Each rider has selection of four kites of different sizes that can be changed based on the wind strength and conditions.

Mark Robinson, RYA Performance Director, added: "Connor has shown true grit and determination to secure Britain a place on the Men's Kite start line at Paris 2024, and we are delighted he's been selected to represent Team GB at his first Olympics.

"Connor has shown he's got the drive and attitude to be an Olympian, and we're all excited to see what he can do in Marseille this summer.

"It is also fantastic that once again we will have athletes representing Britain in all ten Olympic classes as we look to continue our world-beating Olympic legacy."

The sailors selected for Paris 2024 are:

  • John Gimson and Anna Burnet - Mixed Multihull (Nacra 17)
  • James Peters and Fynn Sterritt - Men's Skiff (49er)
  • Freya Black and Saskia Tidey - Women's Skiff (49erFX)
  • Emma Wilson - Women's Windsurfing (iQFOiL)
  • Sam Sills - Men's Windsurfing (iQFOiL)
  • Ellie Aldridge - Women's Kite (Formula Kite)
  • Connor Bainbridge - Men's Kite (Formula Kite)
  • Michael Beckett - Men's Dinghy (ILCA 7)
  • Hannah Snellgrove - Women's Dinghy (ILCA 6)
  • Vita Heathcote and Chris Grube - Mixed Dinghy (470)

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