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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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Telltale View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Telltale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 12 at 9:40am
I have 2 problems with the poll, firstly whilst i don't deny all of those listed have a right to be there but how do you compare Ben Ainslie with Rodney Pattison or Paul Elvstrom when we know that our knowledge of Ben Ainslie is coloured by You Tube footage and 'live tracking'. Secondly, contentious I know, but are we really saying Shirley Robertson or Ellen Macarthur don't even get a mention!
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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 9:42am
Originally posted by Rupert

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.

He started out in the little Hobie Monocat....the prototype for the Vortex? Smile His dad won the second Hobie 16 nationals, before the family moved to Hawaii, so he had a good sailing heritage.

He didn't do any dinghy or cat sailing years ago, but his heritage in light wind sailing on one design longboards meant that he had plenty of tactical nous and he's very smart and analytical there's not much doubt he could have done well - but apparently he's still out there in the waves and having fun on boards.

h

I've been lucky enough to sail against some of the names put forward for the list (well, in the case of Peter Blake we saw his maxi for several minutes before finishing a day or two behind Embarrassed) and I would have to rank Robby way, way up there. However, I have to agree with the posters who say that the difference in eras and types makes it impossible to judge who is better.

PS - I've never seen a Monocat, but I have to say I had a go on the similar Hobie Bravo and thought it was a great little funboat. Will that admission get me banned, or merely snubbed? Tongue

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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 9:43am
I don't think the kiters are very happy that in order for them to be Olympic it was Windsurfing that was dropped since the two sports draw on the same types, many were or still are windsurfers.

We would rather see those silly old slow boats from a long forgotten era kicked out why do there have to be so many of them? One for men and one for women should be enough then we'd see something designed that might actually be relevant to the world today if there could only be one type of boat.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tickler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 12 at 9:45am
When I look at what Ainslie has achieved this week....then look back at the post I started recently about was he too small............It has to be Ben.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gordon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 12 at 9:46am
Ainslie has yet to reach the level of acheivement that Elvestrom acheived before his "career break" - a nervous breakdown caused by burnout. We'll have to wait and see what happens in the second part of his career. Will Ainslie still be winning medals in classes like the Tornado at the age of 57?

Question - anyone have a list of Dennis Conners reults - his website claims 28 world championship wins
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gordon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 12 at 9:50am

Gordon
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 12 at 10:10am
Originally posted by Telltale

Secondly, contentious I know, but are we really saying Shirley Robertson or Ellen Macarthur don't even get a mention!

Fair point, but while Shirley's two gold is a fantastic achievement, it could also be that even allowing for limited opportunities for women, it's hard to rate her higher than Valentijn Mankin (gold in three different classes plus a silver), Schumann (3 gold, 1 silver), Torben Grael (2 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze, 1 LV Cup, 1 Volvo race).

EDIT - on the other hand, like women in other arenas, female sailors do seem to suffer more from the career issues caused by having kids; the guys get it easy in that way.

And while Dame Ellen is also great in many ways, how can a racing record that's mainly one second place and one round the world record be placed ahead of someone like Joyon, who has broken the same record twice and a lot of other races, or Frank Cammas, who was a F-18 world champ runner-up as well as RTW record holder and 5 time ORMA champ etc.



Edited by Chris 249 - 18 May 12 at 10:13am
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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 12 at 10:10am
Originally posted by 2547

...the days of turning up and winning a worlds with a new idea are long passed except in development classes

au contraire. AIUI one of Ainslie's big things is that he's one of those who devoped a whole new way of getting downwind in waves with single sail boats.

I agree on Naish: he should be on the poll. Within his field his record is comparable with Elvstroms.

One thing on Elvstrom via Ainslie - its well documented that Elvstrom lost a slice of his peak years to the breakdown alluded to by Gordon. Without that temperament issue the smart money is he'd be as far ahead of anyone else as Bradman is in cricket. But Ainslie lacks that issue and has a better temperament for continual high pressure events, then maybe that's an argument to consider him a better *racing sailor* - at least in that respect.

Edited by JimC - 18 May 12 at 10:18am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mark Jardine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 12 at 10:15am
Originally posted by JimC

Originally posted by 2547

...the days of turning up and winning a worlds with a new idea are long passed except in development classes

au contraire. AIUI one of Ainslie's big things is that he's one of those who devoped a whole new way of getting downwind in waves with single sail boats.


I totally agree - watching the video of Ben going downwind in Qingdao was awe-inspiring. Every wave he seemed to pull 2 boat lengths on his competitors.

p.s. I had to google AIUI - I must brush up on my FLA's!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 2547 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 12 at 10:30am
Originally posted by Mark Jardine

Originally posted by JimC

Originally posted by 2547

...the days of turning up and winning a worlds with a new idea are long passed except in development classes

au contraire. AIUI one of Ainslie's big things is that he's one of those who devoped a whole new way of getting downwind in waves with single sail boats.


I totally agree - watching the video of Ben going downwind in Qingdao was awe-inspiring. Every wave he seemed to pull 2 boat lengths on his competitors.

p.s. I had to google AIUI - I must brush up on my FLA's!
Whilst Ben is clearly the downwind master I think that is a GBR one eyed view on life.
 
When he started out Scheidt was the downwind master and before him it was Glenn Bourke (3 x laser world champ) who has yet to get a mention on this thread ...
 
Being good downwind in waves isn't quite the same as being the first one to hike out ... or having a kicker ...
 
 
 
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