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The best racing sailor ever - The poll

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Poll Question: The best racing sailor ever
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
32 [44.44%]
25 [34.72%]
1 [1.39%]
2 [2.78%]
3 [4.17%]
1 [1.39%]
0 [0.00%]
6 [8.33%]
1 [1.39%]
1 [1.39%]
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gbr940 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gbr940 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 12 at 10:58pm
without a doubt Coutts...his diverse wins at World Championship level across dinghy to yachts to now multihulls isn't matched by anyone else on that list
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Chris 249 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 12 at 2:51am
Dunno if it's "without a doubt" because of diversity;

Singlehanded dinghies - Coutts 1 (Youth) Worlds, 1 gold medal v Elvstrom 2 worlds, 4 gold = big win for Elvstrom

Crewed dinghies - Coutts 0 worlds, 0 gold v Elvstrom 4 worlds = no contest, Elvstrom wins. Or you could roll all the dinghies into one and it's Coutts 1 worlds, 1 gold v Elvstrom 7 worlds, 4 gold...same result.

Offshore yachts - Coutts 1 Admiral's Cup, 3 Worlds v Elvstrom 2 worlds (1/2 tonners) = advantage Coutts, but Elvstrom's worlds were in much bigger fleets with no restrictive nationality and pro rules, and he designed a winning boat.

Multis - Coutts no international wins v Elvstrom, 3rd Tornado Worlds = advantage to the Big E.

Inshore Keelboats - Coutts 0 worlds?* v Elvstrom 5 worlds (2 Star, 2 Soling, 1 5.5) = huge win to Elvstrom

America's Cup - Coutts 4, Elvstrom not eligible (nationality rules existed when he was young enough) = Coutts, no contest.

Elvstrom was also a lot more creative in developing gear and techniques, and his Star and 5.5 worlds wins were eye-openers at a time when most yachties assumed that dinghy sailors were just children who hadn't learned to sail real boats.

On the same topic, Ainslie's haul (3 gold, 1 silver, 10 worlds) doesn't look enormously better than Schiedt's (2 gold, 2 silver, 13 worlds)....I wonder how a Brazilian poll would rate them?

Finally, by far the biggest discipline ever in sailing was windsurfing (about 800,000 boards sold PER YEAR at the peak) and that sport was pretty much dominated in its peak by Robby Naish, who has also apparently won three worlds in k*t*ng. If ranked by the number of sailors beaten (and they included many pros and aspiring pros, for at the time sailors were mainly amateurs and windsurfers were sponsored to the stage that Robby could have racing and road Porsches) he would have to rank extremely highly and he was also very versatile.




* I'm not sure the 12m class was entitled to a worlds when Wiki claims he won one.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote alstorer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 12 at 6:52am

the thing about Ainslie is that he's still relatively young- a couple of years younger than Schiedt- and in terms of public perception at least, Olympic gold is a much higher achievement than Olympic silver.

But both Ainslie and Schiedt still have many competitive years ahead, especially in big boats. Trying to compare current competitors against the long retired is problematic.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Andymac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 12 at 7:35am
Originally posted by Chris 249

Robby Naish, who has also apparently won three worlds in k*t*ng.
 
Oh, has that turned into a 'dirty'word now! Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Quote G.R.F. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 12 at 8:07am
Originally posted by Chris 249

If ranked by the number of sailors beaten 

And there lies the essential point.

Dinghy sailing 'worlds' with 20 -30 competitors, compared with Boardsailing Nationals with 500 competitors a lot of whom were dinghy sailors.

Board sailing worlds when Naish was in full swing would have had 4 fleets of 200 plus competitors split into weight groups.

Compare that with our new "Olympic" fleet of kite board racers, all they could muster were 17, and 10 of them were free riders..
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sargesail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 12 at 8:20am
It depends on how you define best - Elvstrom was indeed an innovator: he did things that his competitors did not.  These have now become mainstream.  Same detail Stewart Morris and tactics - he literally wrote the book.  Arguably the scope for innovation has reduced.  Today's sailors have less room for innovation.  They stand on the shoulders of giants, but the ceiling is close above them.

So Ben gets my vote.  Of course it's subjective, but he does what he does consistently so much better in the toughest of classes, not just Olympics but the Gold Cup too.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 2547 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 12 at 9:14am
Originally posted by sargesail

Today's sailors have less room for innovation.  They stand on the shoulders of giants, but the ceiling is close above them.
 
I think that is what impresses me more about Ben, he's canning the competiton who all have the same kit and technology ... or pretty similar.
 
Elvstrom was a great innovator and used that to his benefit but the days of turning up and winning a worlds with a new idea are long passed except in development classes.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 12 at 9:20am
Anybody else here feeling like an underachiever as we discuss all these sailing greats?

Robbie Naish got me thinking - partly about why he never crossed into dinghies or cats at all (or did he?) but mainly about how good his video RIP was.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 12 at 9:21am


Originally posted by Andymac

Originally posted by Chris 249

Robby Naish, who has also apparently won three worlds in k*t*ng.
 
Oh, has that turned into a 'dirty'word now! Wink

Only for me.... I'm not at all sure that windsurfing getting dumped from the Games is a bad thing for the discipline, but the "quality" of the k*t*rs submission gets my goat. Dead To be honest, though, the kiters themselves have been showing good style by not gloating. Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dougal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 12 at 9:26am
Originally posted by Chris 249


To be honest, though, the kiters themselves have been showing good style by not gloating. Clap
 
All 17 of them?
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