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Lake Mac’s Nathan Outteridge rejoins SailGP series

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Lake Macquarie sailor Nathan Outteridge will rejoin the SailGP series ahead of the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix this weekend.

With Sebastien Schneiter stepping back as driver to focus on his Paris 2024 Olympic campaign, the Switzerland team is handing over the wheel to the local two-time Olympic medallist.

Outteridge, 38, first had success in SailGP during seasons one and two, leading Japan.

Over the past 18 months, he’s supported the Swiss in a number of roles, from sailing advisor and coach to co-driver and strategist.

His experience in the league and sailing credentials makes him a natural replacement for Schneiter.

For the last two SailGP events, Outteridge has already been back at the wheel as the stand-in driver for Denmark and New Zealand.  

“When Seba (Schneiter) called me and asked me to take over as the Switzerland driver, I had to say yes,” he said.

“It’s an honour to be asked and it’s been a real pleasure working with the team for the past 18 months.

“I’ve learned a lot from my different roles and now understand so much more about the F50, other than only being behind the wheel and driving it. 

“I have been without a drive in SailGP for the past couple of seasons, since driving for the Japan SailGP Team.

“I’ve pretty high expectations of myself and what I’d like to get out in terms of results for the remainder of season four… and those expectations will hopefully flow across the whole team.”  

Schneiter will compete in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, his third campaign in the 49er class.

After a podium in the Olympic Test Event and a vice-World Champion title in 2023, he’s tipped as being one of the top contenders for a medal.

The 49er is a rite of passage for some of the top SailGP athletes, it’s a reactive, very physical boat that has been sailed by some of the best athletes in the fleet including Outteridge (a gold and silver medallist in the class). 

Switzerland began competing in SailGP’s global league in May 2022.

The team is now eight events into season four and after Christchurch (23-24 March), the 10-strong fleet will head to Bermuda, Halifax, New York, followed by San Francisco for the finale. 

“From New Zealand onwards, we will enter into a new phase with Nathan driving,” Switzerland SailGP Team CEO Tanguy Cariou said.

“It’s a great opportunity for our team, there’s no one better who can help enhance the team’s performance and help us develop our long-term goal.

“He’s one of the most talented sailors in the world and we are all looking forward to having him onboard, leading on the water and helping us to move forward. 

“We wish Seba the best for the next five months, in the build-up to Paris 2024 this summer.

“He has a chance to make history and has our full support to go out there and try and bring home a medal for Switzerland.”

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