Disappointing Ben Ainslie isn't carrying the flag for GB at the closing ceremony. Linked to this, why doesn't Ben get the recognition in the UK he deserves. When you consider Steve Redgrave's profile at his fourth Olympics the treatment of Ben is shocking. Sailing also seems to be continually branded with equastrian events as an elitist sport. At least Jacques Rogge, albeit an ex-Finn sailor, has recognised his quality delivering over four Olympics.
However, is Ben doing enough to use his position to raise the profile of sailing in the media. He may be the best sailor ever but what did Steve Redgrave do that Ben isn't do with the media. Similarly what are the RYA media people doing. Paul Goodison is sailing a class that 1000s of us race each week but would you know that from the RYA press releases. At least Paul with his agreement with the Sheffield Utd chairman gave the press a good story that will run and coming from Rotherham has also gone down with the media. Similarly if Bryony Shaw is in the next Olympics, she, rather than Ben Ainslie, will be the face of UK sailing with her personality.
Although he has had mixed views, Rob Walker of the BBC has also raised the profile of sailing and again its unfortunate that someone who knew nothing about sailing a year ago is the one to bring the most enthusiasm to the sport and this needs to be built on. The medal races may make a mockery of our normal series scoring but they were exciting and of short enough duration to have main billing on BBC1. Improved graphics would make things even better. Why don't the RYA persuade the BBC or Sky to have a UK competition, perhaps in Lasers, that could start with club qualifiers culminating in regional events for local TV and then national finals.
The above is written from the perspective of a club sailor who is immensely proud of our Olympic sailors but who is frustrated by sailing continuing to be a poor relation in the UK.