Please select your home edition

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 ©
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).

Protector - 660 x 82Insun - AC

Related Articles

470 Class Japan National Championships - Day 1 kicked off
113 entries from 15 countries – two current 470 World Champions are taking part in 470 class Japan National championship 113 entries from 15 countries – two current 470 World Champions are taking part in the 46th 470 class Japan National championship. For women, it is 31st Woman’s 470 National title. It is great to see 28 overseas teams including Olympic medalists and both Men & Women’s current 470 World Champions (AUS and POL).
Posted on 19 Aug
SAP 505 Worlds Sailor Profile - Australian skipper Earle Alexander
Retired. I worked for the last 20 years as a Consultant Mining Engineer. Earle Alexander - Retired. I worked for the last 20 years as a Consultant Mining Engineer. For 30 years before that, I worked as Engineer and Manager in underground metal mines for mining companies and Government Mine Safety Inspectors.
Posted on 19 Aug
Laser Radial Youth World Championships – Day 6
With a second place finish in first race behind Rafael De La Hoz Tuells, Papadimitriou moved into a tie for first place Dimitris Papadimitriou of Greece, who was not ranked in the top 10 heading in to the Final Series, began pulling himself to the front with a third and fourth yesterday in gold fleet, and another incredible performance in today’s racing.
Posted on 18 Aug
Iranian finn sailor aims to make history at Tokyo 2020
He first stepped into a Finn in 2015 and took part in the Rio 2016 continental qualifier, with assistance from the FIDeS Ahmad Ahmadi is aiming to become the first Iranian sailor to compete at the Olympic Games. He opens his campaign at the 2017 Finn Gold Cup next month at Balatonfoldvar in Hungary and has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help fund his Olympic dream and give him the best possible chances of success in Tokyo.
Posted on 18 Aug
Young prepared for tight battle at Laser Radial World Championship
The 30-year-old became the first British woman to win a World Championship in a solo Olympic dinghy class in Vallarta While Young says being defending champion has given extra impetus to this edition’s build-up, she knows it will count for little when she takes to the startline alongside 99 rivals from 41 nations when competition starts on the IJsselmeer next week
Posted on 18 Aug
Laser Radial Youth World Championships – Day 5
The fleets were divided into Gold and Silver fleets, with additional Bronze and Emerald fleets for the boys Under gray skies and rain, the breeze built from 10 knots for the first race up around 15 knots for the second – the heaviest wind seen at the event thus far.
Posted on 17 Aug
OK Dinghy World No.1 for the third time for Greg Wilcox
Greg has returned to the top of the OK Dinghy World Ranking list for the third time since the World Ranking was created Tomasz Gaj and Pawel Pawlaczyk from Poland record career bests in second and third, as does fourth placed Henrik Kofoed. The August release includes 488 sailors, 56 of whom sailed their first ranking event in 2017. The Wiorld Ranking list, and the numbers sailing OK Dinghy, keeps getting bigger.
Posted on 17 Aug
Volvo Noble Marine RS200 National Championships – Runners sand riders
The excitement is palpable as teams gear up for the 100+ strong RS200 Nationals, hosted by the fabulous Tenby SC. There are frankly too many teams with a shot of winning the title to sift through, but we have given it a shot (the top twenty could yet again be pretty close)
Posted on 17 Aug
RYA names its 420 crews for Youth Sailing World Championships
This will be a Youth Worlds debut for the pair, with helm Smallwood admitting he is excited about the opportunity. 420 class pairings Alex Smallwood-Ross Thompson and Hatty Morsley-Pippa Cropley are the latest sailors selected for Great Britain for the prestigious global event, after windsurfers Emma Wilson and Andy Brown were named as the first British team members last month.
Posted on 17 Aug
2017 Laser Radial Youth World Championships - Day 4
Three races were completed today in each fleet, concluding the qualifying series for the 2017 Laser Radial Youth Worlds Three races were completed today in each fleet, concluding the qualifying series for the 2017 Laser Radial Youth World Championships in Holland.
Posted on 17 Aug