Fletcher and Bithell miss out on European title but take positives

Stuart Bithell and Dylan Fletcher
Stuart Bithell and Dylan Fletcher

They may have only picked up a bronze in the European Championships 49er class but Market Harborough sailor Dylan Fletcher and his partner Stuart Bithell are staying positive ahead of the World Championships this month.

The pair, who are the defending world champions, won the medal race to cap off the week-long event in Poland.

Finishing on a high, Fletcher and Bithell stormed to victory in the medal race to end the regatta just one point behind silver medallists Dominik Buksak and Szymon Wierzbicki of Poland, and six behind new champions Diego Botin and Iago Lopez from


Fletcher conceded it was not the result they were hoping for ahead of the World Championships in Denmark, but can still see the bright side of how things went.

“It was a tough regatta for us, but a great learning tool ahead of the World Championships this summer,” he said.

“There were some weaknesses highlighted on what we need to improve on which is always hard to learn during racing but it will put us in better shape going forward.

“We knew we needed to go out and win the medal race to be within a shot of a medal.

“It was great to do just that, especially after struggling in the racing in the morning.

“To come out firing and dominate the race was an awesome way to finish the regatta.”

Aarhus in Denmark is the host for the Hempel Sailing World Championships – which will be for all 10 Olympic sailing classes plus Kitesurfing – and the competition gets under way on July 31 and runs through until August 12.