Germany wing trimmer Stuart Bithell joined the German team at the beginning of Season 4 after stints with both the Swiss and British teams. In this quickfire Q&A, Bithell says his scariest sailing moment took place in SailGP’s first season and reveals his dream F50 tech innovation.
How did you first get into sailing?
Sailing at local sailing club on a Wednesday night with next to no wind. I was bored and was trying to touch the racing marks as we went past them.
What is your career highlight so far?
Winning an Olympic Gold Medal in Tokyo 2020.
Who is your sporting icon and why?
Tiger Woods – Utter dominance in his prime. He had the strongest phycological game I have ever seen.
Tell us about your scariest sailing moment?
SailGP Season 1 in New York. It was super gusty and shifty, and extremely hard to control the boats. A 32 knot gust hit us from nowhere and we capsized.
What is your favorite SailGP race location and why?
Bermuda – nice flat water, good wind and pristine clear blue water.
If you could choose a new SailGP race location, where would it be?
Weymouth - It’s my home country and Portland Harbor is called foil town....Why not bring the fastest foilers to town!
What dream tech innovation would you introduce to the F50 if you could?
A button you press and the boat packs itself away into the container and moves to the next event. Then we could have more events! Also auto pilot on the flight control. Then you could just push and push the boat to the max.
If you could change anything, what would you change about SailGP?
The ability to train more.
Which venue are you most looking forward to visiting in Season 4?
Auckland, I think the racing will be awesome.
Best SailGP moment so far?
First race of Season 4 in Chicago with the German team.... We had very little time together as a team in foiling conditions and we did exceptionally well considering. Racing with the best from day one!
What team would you most like to beat and why?
The Aussies.... They are currently the best team.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a professional sailor?
Probably something in the sports industry - a coach, phycologist, or mentor.
What is your favorite thing about SailGP?
Racing the BEST sailors in the world in identical boats and on a level playing field.