Sailing-Schneiter Hands Outteridge Swiss SailGP Helm To Focus On Olympics – News18

Published By: Sports Desk

Last Updated: March 23, 2024, 00:01 IST

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Swiss SailGP Team’s Sebastien Schneiter is stepping away from the helm for the rest of this season to focus on winning an Olympic medal in sailing’s 49er class with Arno de Planta.

LONDON: Swiss SailGP Team’s Sebastien Schneiter is stepping away from the helm for the rest of this season to focus on winning an Olympic medal in sailing’s 49er class with Arno de Planta.

Geneva-based Schneiter said he had handed the wheel of the Swiss F50 foiling catamaran to veteran co-driver Nathan Outteridge for the rest of SailGP’s fourth season.

“It’s the best decision for Swiss SailGP Team and for my goal of winning an Olympic medal for Switzerland,” Schneiter said ahead of this weekend’s New Zealand SailGP.

In a packed year for some of the world’s top sailors the SailGP season culminates in a $2 million winner-takes-all grand final in San Francisco in July, just weeks before the start of the Paris 2024 Games.

“For the past 10 years I’ve been working towards this moment and this summer, with the Olympics in Marseille, I feel that this dream can become realistic if we keep working hard,” Schneiter said in a statement on SailGP’s website.

Schneiter said that despite finishing this month’s 49er World Championship in Lanzarote in sixth place, the early stages of the event had not gone as planned for the Swiss pair.

“Having a little challenge and not achieving our goals has allowed us to reflect and change our approaches, which has made us come out of it stronger,” he added.

After the Olympics, the sailing world’s focus will switch to New Zealand’s defence of the 37th America’s Cup in Barcelona. Racing begins in late August and runs until October and includes the first women’s event, as well as a youth competition.

Britain’s Ben Ainslie handed the helm of his SailGP F50 to double Olympic gold medallist Giles Scott in January so that he could concentrate on his role as skipper of INEOS Britannia, the British challenger for the America’s Cup.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – Reuters)