- Double Olympic medalist Stuart Bithell is to join the Switzerland SailGP Team
Stuart Bithell, who won 49er gold for Britain at the Tokyo Olympics, is to join the new Swiss SailGP Team for Season 3 when it opens in Bermuda in May.
Bithell will join team Driver Sébastien Schneiter, from Geneva and Olympian, Jason Saunders of New Zealand with other team members still to be announced.
The new recruits bring prior SailGP racing knowledge and experience. Bithell raced in 2019 as part of the Great Britain SailGP Team, finishing fourth in the league’s inaugural season.
Throughout Season 2, Saunders has stepped in as interim wing trimmer for both the New Zealand and United States SailGP Teams, competing at events in Taranto, Plymouth and Aarhus.
Both will assume new roles onboard the Swiss F50, Bithell as wing trimmer and Saunders as flight controller – key roles in the high-speed boat’s performance.
The team will be supported by Italian Coach Jacopo Plazzi, a young but experienced high-performance racer. Among his many accolades is the 36th America’s Cup where he was coach to the Italian Prada Luna Rossa team.
With fifty percent of the race team announced for Season 3, the Swiss team will continue trials to recruit its grinders and Swiss female athletes, who will race onboard the F50 as part of SailGP’s Women’s Pathway Programme.
Bithell recently announced his retirement from Olympic sailing after taking gold in the 49er with Dylan Fletcher at Tokyo 2020, and a silver in the 470 with Luke Patience at the London 2012 Games.
SailGP Season 3 – May 2022 – Apr 2023 Schedule*
May 14-15 – Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess
June 18-19 – United States Sail Grand Prix | Chicago at Navy Pier
July 30-31 – Great Britain Sail Grand Prix | Plymouth
August 19-20 – ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix | Copenhagen
September 10-11 – France Sail Grand Prix | Saint-Tropez
September 24-25 – Spain Sail Grand Prix | Andalucía – Cádiz
November 12-13 – Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas
TBA 2023 – New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch
* Further Season 3 events will be announced next month,