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post #58 of Old 04-04-2013
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Re: Is Sailing an Elitist Sport?

Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post

No, I recall DC's reputation back then was that he wasn't the best sailor, but that he was an ace at exploiting the rules. Which is, after all, fair play.
i don't know, seems like he was already a pretty accomplished sailor by that time, having already won the AC twice before losing it in '83... I recall lots of chatter that year, suggesting that Conner actually worked a minor miracle to take the series to a 7th race, Ben Lexcen's wing keel being such a design breakthrough making AUSTRALIA II such a superior boat, and that Bertrand really should have won it going away in 4 or 5 races...

But obviously, any AC campaign is such a team sport, the real talent of the guy at the helm can often be disguised by the work of his tactician and crew... Probably the truest measure of Conner's talent at that time, was the fact that he had already won an Olympic Bronze Medal, and 2 World Championships in the Star class... NOBODY wins in a Star - much less on the international level - without being a pretty damn good seat-of-the-pants sailor in their own right...

At any rate, Conner certainly redeemed himself in Freemantle, taking The Cup back in the subsequent challenge. It was a pity the Cup didn't stay down there a bit longer, the racing off Freo when 'The Doctor' came calling was probably some of the most spectacular ever seen in the Cup, with the boats racing in 25 knots of breeze, and big seas... that was some great stuff...
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