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Paul Elvstrøm : 25 February 1928 – 7 December 2016

by Mark Jardine on 8 Dec 2016 8 December 2016
Paul Elvstrom - 25 February 1928 - 7 December 2016 © Archive

Paul Elvstrøm has passed away at the age of 88 on Wednesday 7th December in Hellerup, Denmark. The legendary sailor won four consecutive Olympic gold medals, firstly in the Firefly at the 1948 London Games, where the sailing was held in Torbay, and subsequently in the Finn class at the 1952, 1956 and 1960 Olympics. Later Paul sailed with his daughter Trine in the Tornado class at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics.

He also won eleven world titles in a range of classes including the Finn, 505, Snipe, Flying Dutchman, 5.5 Metre, Star and Soling.

Elvstrøm was a great sailing innovator, credited with developing the modern self-bailer, toe-straps and the kicking strap. He also established a manufacturing company which made masts, booms and sails.

On the race course he introduced the gate instead of the single leeward mark and was instrumental in developing several of the modern racing rules which are still used in sailing today.

He also wrote several books including 'Expert Dinghy and Keelboat Racing' in 1967 and many editions of 'Paul Elvström Explains the Yacht Racing Rules'.

David Henshall will be writing a full obituary for YachtsandYachting.com shortly.

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