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Kitesurfing brother and sister duo Mattia and Francesca Maini, from Herne Bay, set sights on Paris 2024 Olympics ahead of National Freestyle Kitesurfing Championships in Ramsgate

By Matt Leclere

A brother and sister duo from Kent will battle it out on home waters when the final round of the National Freestyle Kitesurfing Championships head to the county.

Teenagers Mattia and Francesca Maini, who are from Herne Bay, are up and coming stars of the sport and will be competing in Ramsgate next weekend.

Mattia, 14, and Francesca, 17, have already set their sights high and are aiming to be part of Team GB when the sport makes its Olympic debut in Paris in 2024.

Francesca Maini, from Herne Bay, is being touted as one of the next big stars of kitesurfing
Francesca Maini, from Herne Bay, is being touted as one of the next big stars of kitesurfing

The pair, who attend school in Canterbury, started kitesurfing a few years ago taking after their father who is a keen kitesurfer.

They train in the waters off their home town, in Whitstable and at Camber Sands and have already represented Great Britain at junior international level.

The siblings are some of the most exciting talent in the field at the upcoming event in Thanet, which starts on Saturday, August 24, because they are talented in all the disciplines of the sport - kiting, kitefoiling (racing), freestyling (jumps and tricks) and wave riding.

Francesca took the UK National Youth Championships for girls earlier this year and took the amateur women's category title at the Skegness leg of the national competition despite still competing as a junior.

Mattia Maini will join his older sister at the National Freestyle Kitesurfing Championships in Ramsgate next weekend
Mattia Maini will join his older sister at the National Freestyle Kitesurfing Championships in Ramsgate next weekend

When they competed at the World Kitefoiling Championships in Italy in July, Mattia took bronze in the under-16 category in his very first international event.

Kitefoiling is set to feature as the kitesurfing discipline at the Olympics in five years time.

The final leg of the national kitesurfing tournament will be hosted on Ramsgate Main Sands on August 24 and 25 with 70 competitors from across the UK taking part to take the crown.

The event is sponsored by Active Ramsgate, a tourism initiative launched by Ramsgate Town Council in a bid to boost visitor numbers and encourage outdoor pursuits for residents and tourists.

Entries are still open for Kent-based kitesurfers with plenty of activities for the family to enjoy on the beach throughout the weekend with free entry.

Free kitesurfing taster sessions and various other watersport trials will be on offer.

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