STUART Bithell is set to race in the GB team for the SailGP’s inaugural season that will visit Cowes in August next year.

The Portland-based sailor, alongside regular team-mate Dylan Fletcher, will join a team managed by world-class sailor Chris Draper, Olympic bronze medalist with two America’s Cup cycles under his belt, most recently as sailing team manager and wing trimmer with SoftBank Team Japan for the 35th America’s Cup.

Fletcher said: “It’s awesome to be part of SailGP, which provides such a fantastic opportunity to showcase sailing and produce a series of events that push the limits of what sail racing can look like around the globe.

“This is one of the greatest challenges I have been personally taken on, and I am ready to show that the Great Britain SailGP Team has what it takes to battle out it with the world’s best.

“For me, the best part of this will be the UK event taking place during Lendy Cowes Week in August 2019. Racing in front of the home crowd on home waters – it doesn’t get much better than that.”

Sail GP has set out to redefine sailing with the launch of its new global racing league: five grand prix events featuring six national teams on identical wingsailed F50s – the world’s fastest, most technologically advanced catamarans.

Spearheaded by Larry Ellison and Sir Russell Coutts, in season one, SailGP will bring intensely competitive, high-speed inshore racing to fans in Sydney; San Francisco; New York; Cowes, UK; and Marseille, France, as world-class crews compete for the championship trophy and a $1 million prize.

Draper, CEO for Great Britain SailGP Team said: “We have put together a really strong and dynamic team – in my opinion a group of natural born winners, very grounded and real, perhaps raw but also confident and ready to deliver for Great Britain. We are looking forward to a thrilling first season in 2019.”

Team GB are Dylan Fletcher, Stuart Bithell, Chris Draper, Richard Mason and Matt Gotrel.