The 2024 Summer Olympics held in Paris will mark the first inclusion of the high-speed water sport, kite foiling.
For most people, this will be their first exposure to the sport.
Kite foiling is an evolution of kiteboarding. Riders use wind power to pull their boards along the water.
Kite foiling differs as a hydrofoil, a lifting surface, is used on the underside of the board.
The hydrofoil board uses a wing under the water to create lift, helping the riders to glide across the water with very little drag. Riders can reach speeds of up to 51mph.
Ellie Aldridge, 26, from Poole was among the first athletes to be named as a part of Team GB, across the 28 sports at the Olympics next year.
Ellie said: “The first noise of it becoming Olympic was summer of 2018, which is when I started doing it properly.
“I was involved early on and then went full time around November, when it was set to be in the Olympics.”
The sport has been gaining traction for a number of years, with the number of worldwide events increasing year on year.
Ellie has recently won the 2023 Formula Kite European Championships in Portsmouth, which confirmed her selection for Team GB. She also won silver at both the World Championships in The Hague and the Paris 2024 test event in Marseille.
“The cool thing about water sports is that everywhere you go, it’s different. You have different climates, waves and wind. That’s why we go there before the racing. We do training there before to get used to conditions,” Ellie said.
The exposure from the Paris games, hands the sport and opportunity to show off the best of its racing and reach a wider audience in the hopes of growing the sport.
“Like skateboarding last time, all these new sports coming in need to look good so that people want to watch it,” Ellie added.