Sad news, Paul Elvstrom passed away


New member
Paul Elvstrom invented modern dinghy racing and ruined the knees of my generation. Certainly, he was 'the greatest'

Paul_Elvstrøm_1960b.jpg A very sad day for our sport. Paul Elvstrom was definitely one of the good guys in sailing.

For those of a certain age (yikes) he loomed large in our sailing psyche. I would often think of him on those interminable third weather legs of Finn Gold Cups. Despite having sissy pads and hiking pants .... my legs would be screaming with pain (or asleep). There in my thoughts would be Paul in the 50's and 60's with no such aids ... wearing a bunch of water soaked sweaters ... hiking his Finn flat. It was always good for a bit more hiking motivation ...

Then of course there was the fun of fooling around with the little plastic boats in the back of the Elvstrom Rules Book ...

He was an icon. Fair Sailing Paul!



Paul Elvstrom invented modern dinghy racing and ruined the knees of my generation. Certainly, he was 'the greatest'
:) The Ortho looks at my knees and says "Finn sailor?" I say "In my youth." Ortho: "Tired of them hurting? We can fix that." Me: "Oh that. Uh, no, I'm here because a car hit my knees, and now they really hurt."

Ortho: "What is it with you guys?"



One of our heroes has ended a long life he lived well, no sadness but awe and admiration. Legendary is about the only appropriate word to describe him.

Tell young sailors the stories of this great man, pass on his knowledge so that he may live forever as an inspiration for generations to come.



Super Anarchist
Hamble / Paris
Sad news. One of my heroes, and not just for the way he sailed.
This speaks for me too.

His famous quote I first read in Dave Perry's book "Winning in One Designs" .. a lesson for sailing and for life

You haven't won the race, if in winning the race you have lost the respect of your competitors



San Diego
There have been many excellent sailors, but can you think of any one who was as UNIVERSALLY loved and respected as Paul Elvstrom?


Great Red Shark

Super Anarchist
Wow schakel, did YOU ever miss the point. This isn't about comparing anyone - but to be sure, Paul sailed modern small boats, published several books about doing so and inspired many, many sailors to improve their sailing skills and integrity.

Nobody smart would ever say that Charlie Barr wasn't one of the pioneer skippers of ocean racing, but it's an entirely different matter - and he passed long ago.

You are likely much too young to appreciate the debt you owe PE in many ways - if you even race sailboats.


Go Left

Super Anarchist
I posted my thoughts above, but was just thinking about PE and all he did for sailing. And I remembered that I may actually owe my life to his inventiveness. I was an idiot, immortal 20-year-old. I jumped in an I-14, single handed on a breezy Thanksgiving day on Puget Sound.

Got out from behind West Point and the breeze and waves jumped to a whole new level. Not another boat in sight. Water temperature 54 at best. Tacked, swamped, flipped, swimming, got it back upright, 3 or more barrel-roll attempts and I got in the completely swamped boat. No transom cut out, bleach-bottle bailer floated away, but I was able to open that Elvstrom cockpit bailer, get the boat moving and slowly sail it dry. Got back in to the marina shaking from hypothermia.

So...Thank you Mr. Elvstrom. Your genius ideas worked and I'm less of an idiot now. And certainly not immortal.