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Now that the Prada Cup has ended, I would like to express my admiration for Ben Ainslie. His sportsmanship, fairplay and style stand out beyond his skills on the water.

As I didn't know him at all before the cup (honestly I don't know him now either, but I have been watching many interviews), I wonder why so many people over this board has been insulting him.

Can someone shed some light on this?

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That old cliche "You can't win them all". He has got a pretty full trophy cabinet though 5 Olympic Medals, a record number of Finn Gold Cups, a bucket load of worlds, a WMRT title, thrashed everyone i

to be fair... I have raced Giles... it didn't go very well. I had only been sailing for a couple of years though and was very small. Giles, despite being my age was already getting too big for toppers

Actually I got to be in the cockpit with Ben many moons ago in a demo event match racing against Ian Percy and Shirley Robertson in the Sunsail France 1 and France 2 AC class boats.  My input was sole

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this thread is going to go one way full of people that have never met the bloke but have decided from a story from a mate down the pub that he is the worst person in existence, 

prove me wrong:)

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One can't have anything but admiration for his immense sailing career. Hadn't he been so determined he wouldn't be the legend he is. The likes of Ben, Valentino Rossi, Marquez, &C all have a very strong character and personality. At the moment he is pissed off for having been soundly beaten and maybe he was not in the right mood to be the most gentle person in the world. Ognuno tira l'acqua al suo mulino.

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4 minutes ago, JALhazmat said:

this thread is going to go one way full of people that have never met the bloke but have decided from a story from a mate down the pub that he is the worst person in existence, 

prove me wrong:)

This and the fact that the pubs are all fucking closed

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11 minutes ago, Dolphin65 said:

Hundreds pages, man! 

If we would answer your question it will be hundreds more...

Use the search function if you are time constrained.

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Outstanding sailor.

Very together personality.

Goal is to try and bring the AC to UK and he is devoting over a decade to that task. Admire him

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Could it be the shit is being thrown only because he is smart and looks "posh" to the "anarchists", who definitely are not (exclusively) members of this board, but people who don't like rules, power, and manhood?

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12 minutes ago, Chris UK said:

Ben most likely got laid again last night........so that's 90% of SA posters pissed already......good luck to him I say.

By the nanny or his darling, asking for a friend.

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Whenever Ben comes up on screen my wife retells the story of how he "danced" with her at a ski lodge.............as I type this, i realise that I have far more anger towards Ben than I previously appreciated.......and a more sound basis than most on this forum.......

..........shit! I should have been cheering for LR. 

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That old cliche "You can't win them all". He has got a pretty full trophy cabinet though 5 Olympic Medals, a record number of Finn Gold Cups, a bucket load of worlds, a WMRT title, thrashed everyone in SailGP his FIRST time in one of those things and goodness knows what else. Oh and he was a very large part of the San Francisco comeback in my opinion which Pitbull fans conveniently forget about. Been successful enough in our sport to drive an Aston Martin (if he still has it) and honeymoon with his new wife Geordie on ther 65 foot wooden Dutch build yacht so  great example for young hopefuls of what success in our sport can bring.

I think he has been very gracious throughout the challenges of this cup and has admitted the shortcomings of the boat - hells teeth, they were calling Rita a 'dog' before Christmas.

Sure he is tough when he has his 'game face' on but not a bad guy.

I remember I was at the GBR party at the Olympic Test Event in Qingdao in 2006. They were all there, Percy, Shirl, Goody I think and of course Ben. But it was Ben my girlfriend (now wife) wanted a picture taken with, so i asked him. Immediate response was no problem.

He is human like the rest of us and he must have been hugely disappointed the other evening and to find out some Italian back room bloke had omitted to invite him to the post race press conference as had happened on every single other day of the event so far is bound to have been, shall we say, somewhat less than pleasing. I'd would have been pissed.

I watched the short piece by 'stuff' on youtube and looking at some of the comments below the video - Christ many of them have 50% of fuck all comprehension about the situation.

The only thing I would put my money on (apart from ETNZ thrashing LRPP) is that Ben Ainslie will be back.

SS

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He is the face of the UK team so he is going to be blamed for their loss.  They had some obvious design problems and they did the best to fight through it.  Also, he is a sailing legend and many people want to know him down a notch. 

Just for fun, imagine the response from the SAAC crowd too many of the questions the press asked Ben?  

? - WTF do you think...

? - No, I loved getting my ass handed to me...

?- .....

 

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21 minutes ago, shanghaisailor said:

That old cliche "You can't win them all". He has got a pretty full trophy cabinet though 5 Olympic Medals, a record number of Finn Gold Cups, a bucket load of worlds, a WMRT title, thrashed everyone in SailGP his FIRST time in one of those things and goodness knows what else. Oh and he was a very large part of the San Francisco comeback in my opinion which Pitbull fans conveniently forget about. Been successful enough in our sport to drive an Aston Martin (if he still has it) and honeymoon with his new wife Geordie on ther 65 foot wooden Dutch build yacht so  great example for young hopefuls of what success in our sport can bring.

I think he has been very gracious throughout the challenges of this cup and has admitted the shortcomings of the boat - hells teeth, they were calling Rita a 'dog' before Christmas.

Sure he is tough when he has his 'game face' on but not a bad guy.

I remember I was at the GBR party at the Olympic Test Event in Qingdao in 2006. They were all there, Percy, Shirl, Goody I think and of course Ben. But it was Ben my girlfriend (now wife) wanted a picture taken with, so i asked him. Immediate response was no problem.

He is human like the rest of us and he must have been hugely disappointed the other evening and to find out some Italian back room bloke had omitted to invite him to the post race press conference as had happened on every single other day of the event so far is bound to have been, shall we say, somewhat less than pleasing. I'd would have been pissed.

I watched the short piece by 'stuff' on youtube and looking at some of the comments below the video - Christ many of them have 50% of fuck all comprehension about the situation.

The only thing I would put my money on (apart from ETNZ thrashing LRPP) is that Ben Ainslie will be back.

SS

The stuff vid and the live sail die vid are from the same open press call, 

point 1 not drunk despite what many on here think and have slagged him off for without basis.

point 2 we don’t know what dumb as fuck leading question had been asked by Stuff. Just the sound bite answer. 
 

Point 3, not dressed properly unlike the Italians.  Wearing what he had at the formal press conference when they were dressed in a grey tracksuits /jacket baseball cap combo, or in Max case a T-shirt an shorts. 
 

 

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1 hour ago, shanghaisailor said:

He is human like the rest of us and he must have been hugely disappointed the other evening and to find out some Italian back room bloke had omitted to invite him to the post race press conference as had happened on every single other day of the event so far is bound to have been, shall we say, somewhat less than pleasing. I'd would have been pissed.

As an Italian, I feel quite embarrassed for this unpleasant event....Who knows why Longanesi Cattani (if he made this call) humiliated the British team this way...

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1 hour ago, JALhazmat said:

The stuff vid and the live sail die vid are from the same open press call, 

point 1 not drunk despite what many on here think and have slagged him off for without basis.

point 2 we don’t know what dumb as fuck leading question had been asked by Stuff. Just the sound bite answer. 
 

Point 3, not dressed properly unlike the Italians.  Wearing what he had at the formal press conference when they were dressed in a grey tracksuits /jacket baseball cap combo, or in Max case a T-shirt an shorts. 
 

 

I'm not sure they are from the same press call. In LSD it's still light, and Ben's hair is still pretty organised, in the stuff article it's clearly dark and his hair is more windswept. He's also much more spritely in LSD and in Stuff it appears to me he's had a few, which he certainly deserved!

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5 hours ago, JALhazmat said:

this thread is going to go one way full of people that have never met the bloke but have decided from a story from a mate down the pub that he is the worst person in existence, 

prove me wrong:)

Or you just meet him in the pub.

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Actually I got to be in the cockpit with Ben many moons ago in a demo event match racing against Ian Percy and Shirley Robertson in the Sunsail France 1 and France 2 AC class boats.  My input was solely counting down the starts, but I found him to be charming and a good people person.  Although a laid back event he was totally focussed from the warning signal and as soon as we finished he was up on deck (yep I was handed the helm) while he patted all the crew on the back.

My abiding memory was that we were briefed by Sunsail not to go within a boat length of the other boat, but in a dial up with Percy I was quite convinced that he was going to take out two AC 75s plus Sunsail owner Chris Gordon’s rather beautiful 50ft Beneteau custom committee boat.

it was my 40th Birthday as well!

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8 minutes ago, Rennmaus said:
19 minutes ago, mad said:

Or you just meet him in the pub.

Or in a pizzeria in Valencia or in a café in Cagliari.

Was he acting like an arrogant arsehole there as well?

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And Grant Dalton. Granny Herald  ran a one sided (IMO) series on how terrible he was/is.  I must be terrible too because I 'm really enjoying the spectacle initiated by GD and team..Be interesting to see the Herald suck it up in March.

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6 minutes ago, Rennmaus said:

He ate his pizza, and he did not do it noisily, so I wouldn't rate him an arsehole.

The question is which pizza? Could it be a pineapple pizza?

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26 minutes ago, Flags said:

I'm not sure I've seen Bens results from his days in a Topper :)

to be fair... I have raced Giles... it didn't go very well. I had only been sailing for a couple of years though and was very small. Giles, despite being my age was already getting too big for toppers, annihilating most the competition and moved on before I got going. I did spend a decent amount of time with his younger brother though, who as a result of being a giant as well went through the class with me despite being three years younger. 

For that matter I was also on topper squad with Dyfrig, Bleddyn's brother. Another really nice family. So it's pretty cool to see the families I grew up sailing against now competing at the AC together and is pretty cool for the Topper class.

I think most of Giles results at most topper events would eclipse mine, except perhaps at a worlds. I don't think he did a worlds! But other than that won every event he did do. 

But... back to Ben...
Ben Ainslie (allegedly) gave me a wedgey at the tiger trophy dinner...

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I’ve been following Ben in the AC since his stint with Seattle’s 2003 OneWorld Challenge and, while nobody is perfect, it seems to me he has matured very well. He has grown in experience, wisdom, honesty and graciousness. 

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11 minutes ago, Mozzy Sails said:

to be fair... I have raced Giles... it didn't go very well. I had only been sailing for a couple of years though and was very small. Giles, despite being my age was already getting too big for toppers, annihilating most the competition and moved on before I got going. I did spend a decent amount of time with his younger brother though, who as a result of being a giant as well went through the class with me despite being three years younger. 

For that matter I was also on topper squad with Dyfrig, Bleddyn's brother. Another really nice family. So it's pretty cool to see the families I grew up sailing against now competing at the AC together and is pretty cool for the Topper class.

I think most of Giles results at most topper events would eclipse mine, except perhaps at a worlds. I don't think he did a worlds! But other than that won every event he did do. 

But... back to Ben...
Ben Ainslie (allegedly) gave me a wedgey at the tiger trophy dinner...

I remember Giles sailing with us in Laser at senior squad training owing to being 6'6" at 15 years old!

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Ben is a winner. ...

Like most winners the are very focused and sometime do not let fools interfere with the mission 

Coutts, conner, bertrand,  ....

All focussed.

Barker, Dickson, ...all take fame before it is earned 

 

Many judge Ben because of his little " jump out of his finn and give the umpire a rev up" incident.

Most here are just keyboard wankers who are jealous of the fame and money winners have.

Unlike me, who bags the losers, who are praised by the same idiots, for claiming fame after chokeing....

You wankers who praise the losers are probably the same masturbating twats that bag Ben.

 

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30 minutes ago, Stingray~ said:

I’ve been following Ben in the AC since his stint with Seattle’s 2003 OneWorld Challenge and, while nobody is perfect, it seems to me he has matured very well. He has grown in experience, wisdom, honesty and graciousness. 

Did Ben and Ken Read get on back then? .....seem to remember there was something in Ben's book about kopping flak from someone when Ben was on the runners but in the book he declines to name names. Anyone?

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1 hour ago, EYESAILOR said:

There is nothing wrong with Ben that cannot be fixed by......winning the America's Cup.

The list of people and teams who have come close but not won the AC is a long one!!! 

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1 hour ago, Baconator said:

Ben is a winner. ...

Like most winners the are very focused and sometime do not let fools interfere with the mission 

Coutts, conner, bertrand,  ....

All focussed.

Barker, Dickson, ...all take fame before it is earned 

 

Many judge Ben because of his little " jump out of his finn and give the umpire a rev up" incident.

Most here are just keyboard wankers who are jealous of the fame and money winners have.

Unlike me, who bags the losers, who are praised by the same idiots, for claiming fame after chokeing....

You wankers who praise the losers are probably the same masturbating twats that bag Ben.

 

Twice in a week Im agreeing with pigfucker

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6 minutes ago, Stingray~ said:

Lol! 
 

There actually is a proper Seattle NHL team coming, with an even better name :) 

 

 

Yeah heard they went with Kraken :) Canucks rivalry should be great:D

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9 hours ago, Lat35sowth said:

Who cares, Ben didnt win f all in this sailing event.

Never heard of your trophy cabinet....

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6 hours ago, mad said:

Was he acting like an arrogant arsehole there as well?

You sound like a big baby with a dirty nappy.

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4 hours ago, EYESAILOR said:

There is nothing wrong with Ben that cannot be fixed by......winning the America's Cup.

He has won the Americas cup already. Maybe I misread a typo......

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Look, most of the sailors at the AC (including the dreaded Jimmy Spithill) are probably like the rest of us -good cunts most of the time but ultimately have some brain explosions from time to time.

I for one admire Jimmy for taking ownership of oracle's losses so readily - he stands head and shoulders above the rest in this regard.

Where I cannot abide a sports person is where the jump out of their canoe in search of an opportunity to lay some whoop arse on another person.

Is he the devil? Nope.

He does however need to model himself more on Pete sampras than John Mcenroe.

And yes, comparison with Mcenroe is totally over the top. Ever heard of hyperbole?

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I dont like kicking a man while down. To put all your heart and soul into a project and come up short must be heart breaking. I’m sure he will bounce back. He has many good attributes and at the  moment this should be the focus 

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1 hour ago, jaysper said:

Look, most of the sailors at the AC (including the dreaded Jimmy Spithill) are probably like the rest of us -good cunts most of the time but ultimately have some brain explosions from time to time.

I for one admire Jimmy for taking ownership of oracle's losses so readily - he stands head and shoulders above the rest in this regard.

Where I cannot abide a sports person is where the jump out of their canoe in search of an opportunity to lay some whoop arse on another person.

Is he the devil? Nope.

He does however need to model himself more on Pete sampras than John Mcenroe.

And yes, comparison with Mcenroe is totally over the top. Ever heard of hyperbole?

You have gotta be kidding!

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37 minutes ago, EYESAILOR said:

You have gotta be kidding!

Umm, nope?

Although you might want to be a touch more specific about what you object to.

Is it for example that I've said you're probably a good cunt?

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2 hours ago, dullers said:

Never heard of your trophy cabinet....

Thats because i havent ridden everyones coat-tails to pursue sport as a job, and i happen to be more than adequate at most sports...

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2 hours ago, mako23 said:

I dont like kicking a man while down. To put all your heart and soul into a project and come up short must be heart breaking. I’m sure he will bounce back. He has many good attributes and at the  moment this should be the focus 

A champion takes a good punch

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7 hours ago, Stingray~ said:

The list of people and teams who have come close but not won the AC is a long one!!! 

Ben's won the AC.  And not lost it 5 times to zip like Barker.

The definition of idiot is doing the same thing and getting the same bad result .. ...  Ben hasn't done that yet     plenty have and plenty more know when timo get out.

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8 hours ago, Baconator said:

Ben is a winner. ...

Like most winners the are very focused and sometime do not let fools interfere with the mission 

Coutts, conner, bertrand,  ....

All focussed.

Barker, Dickson, ...all take fame before it is earned 

 

Many judge Ben because of his little " jump out of his finn and give the umpire a rev up" incident.

Most here are just keyboard wankers who are jealous of the fame and money winners have.

Unlike me, who bags the losers, who are praised by the same idiots, for claiming fame after chokeing....

You wankers who praise the losers are probably the same masturbating twats that bag Ben.

 

Agree, not many competitions are won by people who are not focussed, but actually it was a photographer's driver he swam across to have words with.

At a normal regatta he would have gone to the room to claim redress for the media RIB wake disturbing him downwind but ISAF (as it was then) had written into the SI's that  interference by a media boat was not grounds for redress if I remember correctly. I also seem to remember (correct me if i am wrong - I'm getting on a bit :-)) that the media boat was from the country of the sailor that Ben was trying to chase down. Not an important event though, only a world championship or similar.

The term in English slang is "suffer fools badly"

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Just now, Baconator said:

Ben's won the AC.  And not lost it 5 times to zip like Barker.

The definition of idiot is doing the same thing and getting the same bad result .. ...  Ben hasn't done that yet     plenty have and plenty more know when timo get out.

If you always do what you've always done, you always get what you've always got.

It is noticeable how similar the words admire and aspire are.

Those who knock those better than themselves have little or no chance reaching the sometimes dizzying heights of the greats.

Champions usully come with rough edges. Frank Dick, one of the UK's best ever athletic coaches used to talk of his stars having those rough edges, videos of some of his talks are on youtube - worth a look. He was coach during the Daley Thomson, Steve Ovett, Seb Coe era (all Olympic Gold Medalists).

It is easy to hide behind a keyboard - keyboard wankers you so aptly call them, I call them keyboard commodores - when you know you have little chance of actually meeting them in person. Cowardly really 

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Yip. But you can comment in their records and behaviour if it's consistently bad and they make out it's not! And professionals are free targets, just like politicians etc ....

 

But not  amateur's/ volunteers.

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50 minutes ago, shanghaisailor said:

Agree, not many competitions are won by people who are not focussed, but actually it was a photographer's driver he swam across to have words with.

At a normal regatta he would have gone to the room to claim redress for the media RIB wake disturbing him downwind but ISAF (as it was then) had written into the SI's that  interference by a media boat was not grounds for redress if I remember correctly. I also seem to remember (correct me if i am wrong - I'm getting on a bit :-)) that the media boat was from the country of the sailor that Ben was trying to chase down. Not an important event though, only a world championship or similar.

The term in English slang is "suffer fools badly"

Correct. 

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2 hours ago, Baconator said:

Ben's won the AC.  And not lost it 5 times to zip like Barker.

The definition of idiot is doing the same thing and getting the same bad result .. ...  Ben hasn't done that yet     plenty have and plenty more know when timo get out.

Actually, Barker has won an America's Cup.  And given that he was helmsman and skipper I'd say his contribution to that win was much greater than Ainslie's was to his.

 

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19 minutes ago, Regular Swimmer said:

Actually, Barker has won an America's Cup.  And given that he was helmsman and skipper I'd say his contribution to that win was much greater than Ainslie's was to his.

 

He was the helmsman, IIRC Coutts was the skipper, but you're right with the win. 

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20 minutes ago, Regular Swimmer said:

Actually, Barker has won an America's Cup.  And given that he was helmsman and skipper I'd say his contribution to that win was much greater than Ainslie's was to his.

 

Well played. Let's see how long that shuts him up for. About a minute I'd guess. 

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3 hours ago, Baconator said:

Ben's won the AC.  And not lost it 5 times to zip like Barker.

The definition of idiot is doing the same thing and getting the same bad result .. ...  Ben hasn't done that yet     plenty have and plenty more know when timo get out.

He won as a part of a team where he was one cog in the machine

.  What he hasn't done is won with him as the team principal, and with Bermuda and now the latest failure it's plain to see that this is something well outside his skill set but won't admit it.   However his skill set has certainly been capable of conning backers to stick serous $$$$$$ into his bank balance for zero results.

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1 hour ago, Regular Swimmer said:

Actually, Barker has won an America's Cup.  And given that he was helmsman and skipper I'd say his contribution to that win was much greater than Ainslie's was to his.

 

The cup was already won when Coutts gave the boy a go.

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3 minutes ago, GBH said:

for zero results.

He actually did improve one place over Bermuda. Semi finalist there, finalist here. At that rate he needs another two campaigns to lift the auld mug. 

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8 minutes ago, GBH said:

He won as a part of a team where he was one cog in the machine

.  What he hasn't done is won with him as the team principal, and with Bermuda and now the latest failure it's plain to see that this is something well outside his skill set but won't admit it.   However his skill set has certainly been capable of conning backers to stick serous $$$$$$ into his bank balance for zero results.

That's utter bullshit!

This campaign was a success ...

He sailed well, his crew sailed well, his campaign was well managed in and off the water.

 

His only weakness was boat/ foil/ rig/ sail design. ... Which one or combo of a few we will not ever know. . And get never had any pre regattas to check his boat in with 

If he had Prada's boat he would be in the final.

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1 hour ago, Regular Swimmer said:

Actually, Barker has won an America's Cup.  And given that he was helmsman and skipper I'd say his contribution to that win was much greater than Ainslie's was to his.

 

When was Barker both helmsman and skipper? What I remember is that Coutts gave him the helm only in the last race of the series, back in 2000 when they successfully defended the cup. That said I like Dean Barker, and I think he simply has not been very lucky.

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2 minutes ago, Regular Swimmer said:

Yup.  And it was still a greater contribution.

What contribution? Butterworth told Barker what to do and when to do it.

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6 minutes ago, strider470 said:

When was Barker both helmsman and skipper? What I remember is that Coutts gave him the helm only in the last race of the series, back in 2000 when they successfully defended the cup. That said I like Dean Barker, and I think he simply has not been very lucky.

Lucks got nothing to do with it.

Choosing hulas when you needed masts and a dry cockpit design is not luck.

Teaming your Japan challenge to the yanks is not luck.

Trying a tack - bare away rounding in a big breeze with a big lead and when you brains depart ment says not too...   That's not luck that's poor decision making.

Luck is when you toss a coin or roll a dice to get a answer....

No skipper does that.

Dean is just not good enough. He like s to have the fame, but has not deserved it compared to winners.

 

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24 minutes ago, GBH said:

He won as a part of a team where he was one cog in the machine

.  What he hasn't done is won with him as the team principal, and with Bermuda and now the latest failure it's plain to see that this is something well outside his skill set but won't admit it.   However his skill set has certainly been capable of conning backers to stick serous $$$$$$ into his bank balance for zero results.

Jimmy, Pete, et al. neither have won as team principle either, just as cogs in the machine so not sure what your point is. 
 

other than shit flinging..

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28 minutes ago, Baconator said:

What contribution? Butterworth told Barker what to do and when to do it.

So... you think that telling someone what to do is more important and takes more skill than actually doing it? You've got a great future in management Bacon Boy.  And you'd get on well with my wife.

Comments like that do make me wonder whether you've ever sailed.

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1 hour ago, Baconator said:

That's utter bullshit!

This campaign was a success ...

He sailed well, his crew sailed well, his campaign was well managed in and off the water.

 

His only weakness was boat/ foil/ rig/ sail design. ... Which one or combo of a few we will not ever know. . And get never had any pre regattas to check his boat in with 

If he had Prada's boat he would be in the final.

Strange definition of success Porkie!

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7 hours ago, Lat35sowth said:

Thats because i havent ridden everyones coat-tails to pursue sport as a job, and i happen to be more than adequate at most sports...

Still have not heard of your trophy cabinet.

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2 hours ago, GBH said:

He won as a part of a team where he was one cog in the machine

.  What he hasn't done is won with him as the team principal, and with Bermuda and now the latest failure it's plain to see that this is something well outside his skill set but won't admit it.   However his skill set has certainly been capable of conning backers to stick serous $$$$$$ into his bank balance for zero results.

 

Screenshot (1882).png

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Hey a guy who's got four golds and a silver from 5 olympics is bound to ruffle some feathers and make some enemies along the way. He got knighted for DINGHY SAILING!

I have a mate who was on the pro laser circuit at the time. The rivalry between Robert Scheidt(9 time Laser world champion) and Ben was incredible, so heard lots about it back then. He's just an incredible sailor, and I would put money on him winning the America's cup eventually with his own team again. 

At Atlanta Ben (as a 19yr old), was 2 points behind Robert going into the final race with 3rd miles behind. If Ben won, Robert would need to finish at least 3rd(or maybe even 2nd - depends on countback rules used). so to guarantee gold, robert sailed both ben and himself over the startline. Both got an OCS and that was it.

4 years later, Ben had won a few worlds and was now a bit more streetwise (and the UK sailing team had some huge budget too). Robert was again ahead going into the final race, but this time the discards worked in Ben's favour. What follows below is some of the greatest match racing you'll ever see (Unfortunately I don't think there's any footage from Atlanta on youtube)

 

edit: i found some match racing footage from 1996

 

14 hours ago, Baconator said:

Many judge Ben because of his little " jump out of his finn and give the umpire a rev up" incident.

 

Since there's seemingly no video footage of that..i don't think that story is that widely known anymore.

16 hours ago, DavidYacht said:

Actually I got to be in the cockpit with Ben many moons ago in a demo event match racing against Ian Percy and Shirley Robertson in the Sunsail France 1 and France 2 AC class boats.  My input was solely counting down the starts, but I found him to be charming and a good people person.  Although a laid back event he was totally focussed from the warning signal and as soon as we finished he was up on deck (yep I was handed the helm) while he patted all the crew on the back.

My abiding memory was that we were briefed by Sunsail not to go within a boat length of the other boat, but in a dial up with Percy I was quite convinced that he was going to take out two AC 75s plus Sunsail owner Chris Gordon’s rather beautiful 50ft Beneteau custom committee boat.

it was my 40th Birthday as well!

nice to get some honest input from an average Joe here, I'm sure many of these elite sailors are very decent to be around away from their big regattas.

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