A brother and sister from East Kent will be among the competitors in the final leg of the 2019 Freestyle Kitesurfing National Championships in Ramsgate this month.
Mattia and Francesca Maini, of Herne Bay, are promoted among the most exciting and upcoming kitesurfers in the industry. There are a few disciplines like kiteboarding, kitefoil (racing), freestyle (jumps and tricks), wave surfing and the siblings excel at all.
The couple started out in the sport a few years ago, encouraged by their father, who is also an avid kiteboarder. 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 Foil Championships in Italy. Mattia came home with bronze for GB for the U16 category.
Last year it was announced that kitefoil, a skill of kitesurfing, would be included for the first time at the Paris 2024 Olympics. Mattia and Francesca aspire to be part of the GB team in the future.
The Ramsgate date of the Freestyle Kitesurfing National Championships is the final stop. At the Skegness stage Francesca won the amateur female category, even as a junior she faces women much older than herself.
Ramsgate is especially special for the pair, as last year was the culmination of the first competition both siblings took part in.
Active Ramsgate, a Ramsgate City Council initiative designed to support the economic development of the team, was the main sponsor of this year’s championship which took place in three UK destinations. The final leg of the championships will take place on August 24-25 at Ramsgate Main Sands and around 70 competitors from across the UK will compete for the title of National Freestyle Kitesurfing Champion.
Registration is still open for Kent kitesurfers, so anyone who is a BKA member can visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bkc-tour-2019-south-east-ramsgate-finals-24th-25th-august-tickets-60546001721 to get their secure entry into one of the eight categories.
And for those who just want to come see the pros, there are plenty of activities planned for the weekend, such as free introductory kitesurfing sessions and various water sports companies exhibiting and organizing activities on the beach.