Stuart Bithell, who claimed Olympic 470 silver in 2012, is to team up with fellow ex-470 sailor Chris Grube in the 49er class in his quest for gold at Rio 2016.
Bithell, who partnered Luke Patience to 2012 podium glory and two World Championship silvers in the 470 class, has now made the switch to the high performance 49er skiff. A class that looks to be one of the most keenly contested in the lead up to the next Games.
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Once rivals, now teammates, Bithell and Grube have been racking up the training hours in the 49er since October getting to grips with their new boat, and up to speed in this fast and highly agile class.
Despite missing out on the medals in the 49er at Weymouth, Team GBR has a number of regular top placing crews, plus improving young sailors in the class and the battle for the Rio 2016 spot is going to be a long and hard road.
17 January 2013 15:36