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Quickfire Q&A: Stuart Bithell, wing trimmer for Switzerland SailGP Team

9 MAY 2022News
by Miranda Blazeby, Digital Editor
Tags:
  • Switzerland

A SailGP veteran, Stuart Bithell was part of the Great Britain SailGP team in the Championship's first season in 2019. Now, at the start of Season 3, he takes his F50 expertise to the fledgling Swiss team to help kickstart their SailGP campaign.

A sailor since the age of seven, Bithell’s glittering career began in club racing competitions and has seen him represent Team GB in two Olympic Games. At the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Bithell, together with Dylan Fletcher, won Great Britain’s first ever men’s 49er sailing gold medal. Just months later, Bithell was awarded an MBE for services to sailing. We catch up with Bithell ahead of the kick-off of Season 3.

Q: What is your first sailing memory?
A: Sailing with my dad on a Wednesday evening club race in a Firefly.

Q: What is your career highlight so far?
A: Winning the Olympic Gold medal in the 49er class.

Q: Who is your sailing icon and why?
A: Joe Glanfield - his was the best 470 crew in the UK when I wanted to be a 470 crew. Also I love how he goes about methodically putting together sailing campaigns.

Q: Tell us about your scariest sailing moment?
A: The Cowes event in SailGP Season 1. We got out of shape at high speed around the top mark and crashed hard!

Q: Which SailGP race event are you most looking forward to?
A: San Francisco is such an iconic SailGP venue - it’s usually good wind and the racing is awesome. I’m also really looking forward to Christchurch, New Zealand in March 2023.

Q: What is your top ambition for Season 3?
A: To learn the F50 together as a new team and start competing with the best teams in the world.

Q: Best SailGP moment so far?
A: Winning a race in San Francisco in Season 1 with the Great Britain SailGP Team.

Q: What would you be doing if you weren’t a professional sailor?
A: What do you call a dear with no eyes...?

Q: What is your favourite thing about SailGP?
A: The boats are incredible, you have to see it in real life to believe how fast they go. I also really like the sustainability projects and how these are embedded across the teams and circuit.


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