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Aldridge wins statement silver in final pre-Paris test

by British Sailing Team 20 May 09:54 BST 14-19 May 2024
Ellie Aldridge at the 2024 Formula Kite World Championships © Robert Hadjuk / International Kiteboarding Association

Marseille-bound Ellie Aldridge secured a statement silver medal at the Formula Kite World Championships following another consistent performance in Hyeres.

The competition on the French coastline was the classification's final major showdown before a formidable fleet of selected sailors battle it out for a podium place at Paris 2024.

The 27-year-old remained unfazed after being involved in a multiple-rider pile-up on day four of the Championships to head straight to the finals in the medal series.

Lauriane Nolot, who crashed near the windward mark on the first day of the gold fleet competition, came through unscathed to defend her world title, qualifying top for the final before clinching gold by winning the very first race.

Aldridge, who was the other direct qualifier to the final, claimed silver, while another Frenchwoman, Jessie Kampman, completed the podium.

Aldridge said: "It was quite stressful, you wait around all day for all the semi-finals to go through and you've got this big chance but they Lauriane wins the race.

"It was over pretty quickly which is how it is but I'm really happy with the whole week and how I could put the series together.

"It's given me a lot of confidence going forwards but I just need to get a little bit faster so I can beat Lauriane next time.

"It's hard to compete against when you know you're a little bit slower so I've got some clear points to work on.

"After the Europeans, it was quite tricky but I felt a lot more confident in conditions where I wouldn't normally feel that good and I managed to do well at the front of the fleet against girls that are and aren't going to the Olympics."

In a mixture of conditions, Poole's Aldridge matched her World Sailing Championships silver from last August and now officially heads into the Games ranked in the world's top three.

Aldridge warmed up with silver at French Olympic week last month with just 20 points as Paris 2024 becomes a reality in just a matter of weeks.

Elsewhere, completing a strong showing for the British squad on the south coast of France, Lily Young finished ninth in the medal series.

The Formula Kite World Sailing Championships bronze medallist made it through to the women's semi-finals after pushing up to the top 10 on the final day of the opening series.

But a place in the final four eluded her as she finished fourth in the semi-final and ninth overall. Young finished sixth at the European Championships in Spain off the back of a six-month training block and battled through tough conditions to make it to the semi-finals in France.

Fellow teammate Katie Dabson finished 14th with 147 points after placing fourth in the same venue three weeks ago as Maddy Anderson came 16th with 159 points, both shy of the semi-final spots.

Britain's best finisher in the men's World Championships was U21 rider Sam Dickinson in 22nd while fellow U21 Mattia Maini followed for 23rd.

Full results can be found here.

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