The World Championships for the newest Olympic sailing event has seen British success, with silver for Steph Bridge at the women’s Kiteboard Course Racing Worlds (and a Youth World Championship title for Oliver Bridge.
The mother and son team kick-started their bid for Rio 2016 with an impressive showing at the event Cagliari, Italy, which concluded on Sunday (7 October) with Steph and eventual winner Erika Heineken (USA) trading race wins throughout the women’s event to go into the final selection day with just one point separating them.
Heineken triumphed in the final race though to claim the world title, with Bridge adding a silver to her four world titles from the past four years.
Skandia Team GBR’s Izzy Hamilton, racing at her first international Kiteboard event since making the transition from the RS:X windsurfing class, finished a creditable 11th, while 16-year-old Alice Shoulder placed 17th overall and was second in the Youth Girl’s Championship.
In the men’s fleet the 15-year-old Oliver Bridge – the youngest rider at the event – was one of only two Brits to qualify for the gold fleet, finishing 36th out of 153 riders and as first Youth to claim the Youth World crown.
Transitioning Skandia Team GBR windsurfers Tom Squires also made the cut for the gold fleet, finishing 43rd overall, while Sam Sills (80th) and Connor Bainbridge (84th) were also among the men’s fleet, which was won by John Heineken and also included the Netherlands’ Olympic windsurfing champion Dorian van Rijsselberge
RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park, who travelled to Cagliari to observe the event, said: “It was great to see British podium success in this newest Olympic event, which obviously bodes well as we look ahead to Rio 2016, and our congratulations go to Steph, Oliver and Alice.
“It was equally encouraging to see some promising performances from those Skandia Team GBR development squad members making their first foray into international Kiteboard racing, having previously been windsurfing competitively in the RS:X class.
“It was great opportunity to see the dynamics of the discipline first hand and the challenges of Kiteboard course racing from an event management perspective as ISAF looks to integrate it into the World Cup series from this coming 2013 season.”