Niki Birrell

Skud 18

Paralympic bronze medallists, Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell formed Team Birrell Rickham in November 2007 and quickly became a dominant force in the British and World SKUD 18 sailing. They are quadruple World Champions ( ’09,’10,’11,’12) and Paralympic bronze medallists after finishing 3rd in Weymouth at the London 2012 Paralympic games.

Niki Birrell Latest Blog

21.05.14 Getting the adrenaline pumping

It’s been a pretty good time for sport for me recently – me and Alex won gold at Garda Trentino Olympic Week in Italy, followed by Manchester City winning the Premier League and Lewis Hamilton the Spanish Grand Prix! Read more

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Paralympic bronze medallists, Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell formed Team Birrell Rickham in November 2007 and quickly became a dominant force in the British and World SKUD 18 sailing. They are quadruple World Champions ( ’09,’10,’11,’12) and Paralympic bronze medallists after finishing 3rd in Weymouth at the London 2012 Paralympic games. 

Career highlights

August 2012- London 2012 Paralympic games, UK - 3rd 

April 2012 – French Olympic sailing week, Hyeres, FRA – 2nd

January 2012 – Rolex Miami OCR, USA – 2nd

January 2012- IFDS World Championships, USA – 1st

December 2011- Sail Melbourne, AUS – 1st

December 2011 - IFDS World Championships, USA – 1st

June 2011 – Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, UK – 2nd

April 2011 - French Olympic Sailing Week, Hyeres, FRA – 1st

January 2011 – Rolex Miami OCR, USA – 3rd

December 2010 – Sail Melbourne Regatta, AUS – 1st

August 2010 - Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, UK – 2nd

July 2010 - IFDS World Championships, Medemblik, NED – 1st

January 2010 – Rolex Miami OCR, USA – 4th

October 2009 - IFDS World Championships, GRE – 1st

August 2008 – Beijing Paralympics, CHN - 5th      

May 2008 - Qingdao International Regatta, CHN – 1st

Interesting facts- Alexandra Rickham

Helm, Alexandra Rickham is a C5/6 tetraplegic following a diving accident in Jamaica in 1995. Alex rehabbed in Miami, Cuba and Stoke Mandeville before returning to City of London Freemen’s School. In 2004 Alex gained a BSc in Natural Sciences from University of Bath and an MSc in Environmental Technology at Imperial College in 2006. During her time at Imperial she trained as a helm for a member of the Paralympic Development Squad.

In November 2007 she started crewing for Niki and the team went on to win Beijing 2008 selection after their first two regattas together. She has now returned to helming and is proving to be one of the classes up and coming helms following successful 2009/10 seasons.

Date of birth: 11th September 1981

Place of birth: Manchester

Current hometown: Weymouth

Class: Skud 18

Currently sails at: WPNSA

Sporting achievement: Winning the 2008 Paralympic Test Event

Interesting facts- Niki Birrell

Crew, Niki Birrell was born with Cerebral Palsy. He started sailing age 9 with his Father and Brother, Christian. The brothers soon decided to go it alone. In 1998, they were selected for the British Mirror Youth Squad and won multiple events. In 2002, they joined the 420 class and were selected for the British team again. In 2005 they qualified for the prestigious World Championships in Brest, France.

The brothers progressed to the 470, Olympic class and in 2007 qualified for the ISAF World Championships in Cascais, Portugal. Niki joined the Paralympic Development Squad that September and competed in the single handed Paralympic class.

It was felt Niki could fulfil his potential in the SKUD 18 where he partnered up with Alex. Niki also has a degree in Business and Management Studies from Salford University. Niki is an extremely talented tactician and strategist.

Date of birth: 16th August 1986

Place of birth: Kingston, Jamaica

Current hometown: Weymouth

Class: Skud 18

Currently sails at: WPNSA

Sporting achievement: Winning the IFDS World’s in 2009 in Athens

Previous Classes:Mirror (favourite boat!) - selected for the British Mirror Youth Squad, in 2002 joined the 420 followed by 470  

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