A KITE surfer is on a high after achieving a career dream.

Worthing’s Lewis Crathern made the top three in the sport’s most prestigious competition in Cape Town last week after six years of trying.

Lewis came third in the world’s biggest kite surfing competition, the Red Bull King Of The Air 2018, in front of 7,000 spectators.

He said: “It was nice to finally stand up there, on the podium and to see all the people cheering. I will never forget that. It is my ultimate goal to win this event.”

British record holder Lewis, 32, almost lost his life competing in the same contest in 2016.

Despite being disappointed at not coming first this time, he said: “I suppose I would have taken this result two years ago when I woke up in hospital.

“It was tough final day. I am a high wind specialist and these lighter wind events I find so much more challenging. You have to put more tactics into it and cannot express yourself as much. I live in one of the windiest places of the UK and I train there regularly in storm conditions and that’s what you hope for at these events.”

Doctors were unsure if Lewis was going to survive after he was put into an induced coma when he plunged 20ft into the water, knocking himself unconscious.

He began to drown and his lungs filled with water before he was pulled from the sea.

His mother, Sandra, feared the worst and flew from her Worthing home to be by his bedside, but he was back competing within months.

Last October Lewis braved Storm Brian to practise his stunts as waves towered 20 metres high and winds reached 50mph off the Sussex coast.

Lewis has always said his favourite place to surf is at home in Worthing.

Together with friends and fellow Worthing kite surfer Jake Scrace, he first hit the headlines leaping over both Worthing Pier and Brighton’s Palace Pier in 2009.

He previously told The Argus: “In Worthing we are blessed with many advantages over other beaches. For example the beach faces a perfect direction for the strong westerly wind. High tide is the most special time to kite surf which is unusual on the South Coast. This is because there are no groynes or obstacles in the way.

“Combine that with the perfect place for people to watch in front of Sea Lane Cafe, there is nowhere in the world I would rather be kite surfing.”