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Ben Ainslie - Ambassador for Sailing?

by welshcygnet (U13125724) 24 August 2008
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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.


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comment by U13063477

posted Aug 27, 2008

wise up ambassador for sailing you crack me up.

sailing isnt a sport its just a mode of transport. theyll be givin gold medals out for makin tea nect and britain will be calling it a success. you make me laugh britain

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posted Aug 30, 2008

Ainslie is indeed a legend and when he wins 2 more olympic golds people will realize but the reasons he didn't carry the flag are, chris hoy won 3 gold medals to take his total tally to 4 and Ben was 450 miles away from beijing where the sailing took place.

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posted Sep 11, 2008

I agree that sailing isn't covered at all well here considering the successes. But I also feel its good because when money and extra coverage is thrown at a sport we seem to get bad at it, our national sport, football, is the best example.
I reckon we should all keep ploughing away with our sailing away from the scrutiny of excess coverage. It seems to be working!
Having said that I would be disappointed if Ben wasn't made a Sir for his achievements, he is a genuine legend.

As for the 'mode of transport' thing, that would make half the olympic sports pointless - running, kayaking, rowing, equestrianism etc. - grow some brains chump.

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posted Sep 12, 2008

What a ridiculous and narrow minded comment 'sailing is just a mode of transport' after all aren't cycling, rowing, riding and canoeing modes of transport too. Also lets not forget swimming, walking and running (well that almost all of the athletics events) are also modes of transport - so that takes care of almost every event that we won medals in, and most of the events in the games!!

We should celebrate the success of all of our sports men and women not ridcule them regardless of the event - if you want to make such comments about a particular sport try it first then comment and you will see just how difficult it is to compete at beginers level never mind at the top like Ben Ainslie who has been consistantly in the top 5 in the world for years.

Let us not forget that the reason that Chris Hoy, and others, are able to win more that one medal at a games is because they can enter more than one event, unlike the sailors and some of the others.

Perhaps it would be fairer if it was restricted to the single best athlete in each individual event and that athlete can only compete in one indivdual event, then the single medal winners would be equally celebrated.

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posted Sep 23, 2008

Ben ainslie also only gets 1 shot at glory in an olympic games. Hoy had 3 events to ride in, 2 of which were very similar (keirin and ind sprint); so if he won gold in one, he was almost certain to win gold in the other. Ainslies sailing regatta took place over a number of days and required huge concentration, especially when his race got delayed

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