A brother and sister from east Kent will be among the competitors at the final leg of the 2019 National Freestyle Kitesurfing Championships in Ramsgate this month.
Mattia and Francesca Maini, from Herne Bay, are being promoted as among the most exciting up and coming kitesurfers in the industry. There are a few disciplines of kiting, kitefoiling (racing), freestyling (jumps and tricks), wave riding, and the siblings excel at all.
The pair began in the sport a few years ago, encouraged by their father, who is also a keen kitesurfer. Their training grounds have been the waters off Herne Bay, Whitstable and Camber Sands.
Earlier this year Francesca won the RYA UK National Youth Championships for girls. Last month, Francesca and Mattia represented Great Britain at the World Kite Foiling Championships in Italy. Mattia came home with the bronze for GB for the U16 category.
Last year, it was announced that kitefoiling, a competency of kitesurfing, will be included in the Paris 2024 Olympics for the first time. Both Mattia and Francesca are aspiring to be included as part of Team GB in the future.
The Ramsgate date of the National Freestyle Kitesurfing Championships is the final leg. At the Skegness leg, Francesca won the amateur women’s category, even as a junior she is competing with women much older than her.
Ramsgate is particularly special for the pair, as last year was the culmination of the first competition that both the siblings entered.In that, Francesca was third in the entire series, and was runner-up in the Junior Girls category on the day.
Active Ramsgate, an initiative of Ramsgate Town Council designed to support economic development in the team has been headline sponsor of this year’s championship which has taken place across three UK destinations. The final leg of the championships will take place on August 24-25 on Ramsgate Main Sands and around 70 competitors from across the UK will be competing for the title of National Freestyle Kitesurfing Champion.
Entries are still open for Kent kitesurfers to take part, so anyone with a BKA membership can visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bkc-tour-2019-south-east-ramsgate-finals-24th-25th-august-tickets-60546001721 to get their entry secured in one of eight categories.
And for those who just want to come along to witness the pros, there are plenty of activities planned for the weekend, such as free kitesurfing taster sessions and various watersport businesses exhibiting and running activities on the beach.