WEYMOUTH Formula Kite star Connor Bainbridge came desperately close to completing a dream return to the sport but ultimately had to settle for silver at the Olympic Test Event in Marseille. 

Bainbridge, 29, finished second overall behind Frenchman Axel Mazella, who delivered a Bastille Day treat to the delighted home supporters. 

The Dorset sailor pushed him all the way though, an achievement which is made more impressive considering his recovery from an MCL tear. 

He said: “I am as happy as you can be with coming second, for me this year has been a little bit of a fairy tale in terms of coming back from injury and getting back into it. 

READ MORE: Dorset trio on the podium at Olympic test event in Marseille

“I think I am always going to be pushing for gold and looking at the top part of the podium. 

“It was a tiny bit disappointing to be honest because I was so close to Axel, I was one race win away in the first final and I was just off the pace in the second one and ended up crashing when trying to catch up with him. 

“I am super stoked with getting a medal here because I think it cements my Olympic journey. 

“I do still have more to come, and you can still be a bit disappointed with coming second but overall, I am pleased.” 

Bainbridge was not just recovering from a serious knee injury though, he was also going against Mazella on home water, something he is pleased he has successfully conquered ahead of the real thing next year. 

“The goal is always going to be winning a gold medal next year in the Games, so I think one of the big things is getting a silver medal in such a tricky venue,” he added. 

“Marseille is like nothing else I have ever raced in, so more time here and more time racing here can definitely not be underestimated. 

“Their whole setup here is pretty amazing, they have got a French Federation building on the Olympic venue site, so they can spend a lot more time here than we can. 

“For me it is all about the build up to the Games, so it will all be about how I prepare for the Olympics next year and with how our medal system works.

“It really is not over until the end, so if I am in the mix here and can give him a hard time, there is no reason I cannot do the same thing next year and go one better.” 

Follow the British Sailing Team at the upcoming Sailing World Championships from Friday, August 11 to Sunday, August 20 in The Hague, Netherlands, on Instagram at @britishsailing