Stuart Bithell admits he is chomping at the bit to competitively return to the Weymouth and Portland waters this summer – the scene of his greatest sailing moment to date an Olympic silver medal from London 2012.
The 26-year-old finished second at the London Olympics in the two-person 470 class alongside Luke Patience, having booked their place at the Games with a silver medal at the World Championships in December 2011.
But it is all change as Bithell returns to the south coast for the Sail for Gold Regatta as he has since parted company with Scotsman Patience and is now sailing in a new boat as he looks to go one better at Rio 2016.
Bithell is now paired with Chris ‘Twiggy’ Grube in the high performance 49er skiff but he insists the changes have done nothing to dampen his confidence ahead of another Olympic cycle.
“It’s the first time I’ve been out in the bay here for a while actually, and just getting towed in [after training] I was looking at the Nothe course thinking ‘wow, it feels like a long time ago now’ but the memories are still there and it should be good fun,” Bithell said.
“It’s [the partnership] going really well. Myself and Twigs are a pretty new team, we’re still learning lots and are hopefully going to use Sail for Gold as just another process regatta.
“It’s June, it’s Weymouth Bay, it could bring anything. It could be windy and wavy, it could be nice and light which it has been for the last couple of days.
“But whatever it throws at us, we’ll be ready and I’ve no doubt that it’ll be a good regatta whatever the wind is.”
© Sportsbeat 2013