Please select your home edition
Edition
Jeanneau AUS Sunfast 728x90

Stuart Bithell and Chris Grube join in quest for Rio 2016 gold

by Lindsey Bell on 18 Jan 2013
Stuart Bithell, who claimed Olympic sailing silver in 2012, has revealed he is to team up with fellow ex-470 sailor Chris Grube in his quest for gold at Rio 2016. onEdition © http://www.onEdition.com
Stuart Bithell, who claimed silver in the 2012 London Olympic Sailing Competition, has revealed he is to team up with fellow ex-470 sailor Chris Grube 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 in a bid to realise his golden ambitions.

The 26-year-old Rochdale sailor and Patience, 26, from Helensburgh, called time on their 470 partnership at the end of 2012, with their combined body weight in the boat deemed too heavy to be competitive in the light winds expected in Rio.

Bithell will now join forces with a fellow North West talent, 27-year-old Chris Grube from Mickle Trafford, Chester, who has also made the transition from the 470 into the 49er class. The pair revealed their new partnership at the Tullett Prebon London Boat Show, ExCel, on Thursday (17 January).

Grube sailed with double Olympic silver medallist Nick Rogers in a bid for selection for the London 2012 Games, but missed out on the one GBR qualifying spot at the hands of Bithell and Patience.

Grube and Rogers claimed some impressive results in their short time together, finishing fourth at the Skandia Sail for Gold World Cup Regatta in 2011, fifth at the Olympic Test Event in Weymouth and Portland, and tenth at the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Perth.

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.

'It’s a very exciting new challenge for us both,' Bithell explained. 'For me it’s a change of boat and a change of position on the boat from crew to helm, so there’s lots to learn but we’ve been having a great time so far and I think we have so much potential as a team.

'As a junior and youth sailor I was a helm so it’s kind of a return to my roots in a way – albeit in a faster boat! Hopefully I can be as successful as the likes of Sarah Ayton and Ian Walker who started their Olympic careers as medal-winning crews and then went on to become medal-winning helms as well.'

Bithell concluded: 'Chris is a great crew and I know that he fully shares my dreams of gold in Rio so we’ll both be putting in the hard yards to try and make that happen.'

Grube, who sailed in the 470 with Luke Patience up until 2009, said: 'The opportunity to sail with Stuart, and in such an exciting class, was one I jumped at. We’ve had some great training over the past few months, both in the UK and in Murcia, and with a lot of Skandia Team GBR talent in the 49er we know we’re going to be pushed hard, which is great motivation!

'We’ve got a lot of work to do, but we’re both really excited about the challenge. I’ve had the opportunity to sail with three silver medallists now – Luke, Nick and now Stuart – so I have a lot of experience of my own of Olympic campaigning which will hopefully complement Stuart’s skills and make us a dream team for Rio!'

For the latest news and information from the Skandia Team GBR British Sailing Team, visit Skandia Team GBR or follow us on Twitter (@SkandiaTeamGBR).

RS Sailing 660x82BandG AUS Zeus3 660x82Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best Eyewear

Related Articles

No stopping Craig at OK Dinghy Worlds in Barbados – Except the weed
A long day on the water and two very tough races for everyone means the championship is still on track. A long day on the water and two very tough races for everyone means the championship is still on track.
Posted on 29 May
Buckingham (USA) takes Laser Silver at Delta Lloyd Regatta
US Sailing Team's Charlie Buckingham earned a silver medal in the men's one-person Laser event at Delta Lloyd Regatta The US Sailing Team's Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) earned a silver medal in the men's one-person Laser event at the 2017 Delta Lloyd Regatta, a top-level Olympic-classes competition that concluded on Saturday in Medemblik, The Netherlands.
Posted on 29 May
OK Dinghy Worlds - Nick Craig masters Barbados conditions
Four time OK Dinghy world champion Nick Craig of Great Britain got off to the perfect start at 2017 World Championship Four time OK Dinghy world champion Nick Craig of Great Britain got off to the perfect start at the 2017 World Championship in Barbados with two races wins on a challenging day in Carlisle Bay. Luke O’Connell from New Zealand is second while defending champion Jim Hunt from Great Britain is third.
Posted on 28 May
Thrilling races during tropical 33rd Delta Lloyd Regatta
The organisation was testing new formats for 49er, 49erFX and RS:X. It was a great success and made the finals exciting Medemblik welcomed a lot of talent, including those preparing for World Championships and World Cups, and some starting new Olympic campaigns. There were also many Olympic Rio sailors who’ve just started their season again.
Posted on 27 May
Riva Cup – Some more action shots by Elena Giolai
Photographer Elena Giolai has provided this gallery of images of Dyas, 5O5, Korsar Int. 14' classes Photographer Elena Giolai has provided this gallery of images of Dyas, 5O5, Korsar Int. 14' classes
Posted on 27 May
Riva Cup images by Elena Giolai
Photographer Elena Giolai has provided this gallery of images of Dyas, 5O5, Korsar Int. 14' classes Photographer Elena Giolai has provided this gallery of images of Dyas, 5O5, Korsar Int. 14' classes
Posted on 27 May
Wall to wall smiles as OK Dinghy Worlds opens in paradisiacal Barbados
Most sailors in Barbados for the 2017 World Championship have been looking forward to this event for three years The OK Dinghy fleet has landed in paradise. Most sailors in Barbados for the 2017 World Championship have been looking forward to this event for three years and so far it is delivering in spades, with fantastic sailing and fabulous hospitality, all based in a stunning location at the Barbados Yacht Club and Barbados Cruising Club. It is simply idyllic.
Posted on 27 May
First golden medals in 470 for Sozykin with Gribanov & Hanson in Laser
Tonight, the first medal races have been sailed. Both 470 and Laser races were exciting to the end. Tonight, the first medal races have been sailed. Both 470 and Laser races were exciting to the end. In the 470, the Russian Pavel Sozykin and Denis Gribanov were unbeatable, a fair win for this duo. Elliot Hansen wins the gold in the Laser after some close racing in the medal race.
Posted on 27 May
Delta Lloyd Regatta – Medal race time for 470 and Laser
The wind was a bit tricky but Laser and 470 were able to start as scheduled giving them some time before the medal races An exciting Friday saw the last of the races before the medal races are sailed. The wind was a bit tricky in the morning, but Laser and 470 were able to start their races as scheduled, giving them some time before the medal races to prepare.
Posted on 26 May
Delta Lloyd Regatta - Badloe takes over lead from van Rijsselberghe
Another day with light wind conditions at the Delta Lloyd Regatta. It’s the warmest regatta in years Another day with light wind conditions at the Delta Lloyd Regatta. It’s the warmest regatta in years and sailors have sailed every planned race, so the vibe is really good. Due to the light conditions today, there were some delays. The 49erFX sailors had time to relax in the sun, awaiting their first race.
Posted on 26 May