I should actually have mentioned the amount of less than 1$/day origin Colombian cyclists who have made it to the world tour.I think we're actually going the same way, and you make a great point that reinforces part of what I was trying to point out. While big spending can still give cyclists an advantage, the design restrictions are tight enough to ensure that people like the Eritreans can show their potential on a piece of crap, even if they can't win at world level on it. Giro history is full of greats like Gino Bartali, who had dirt poor backgrounds but could show their brilliance on crappy gear because of the restrictions.
So the most popular "equipment intensive" sport has rules that are tight enough to allow brilliance to outweigh bucks enough to allow the brilliant guys without money to show their potential, even if the big dollar teams may have the winning edge.
It sounds like we both feel that Olympic sailing should have rules that allow brilliance to outweigh bucks. From what I can see, the Laser does a pretty good job of doing that; for example when I was serious in Lasers years ago, Michael Blackburn was tuning up for his bronze winning medal campaign using an old loaner boat owned by a small club, and still beating everyone else in Australia. The guys from developing nations often had a better boat than Michael's in the pre-Olympic tuning, and no one had a better boat than Schiedt and Ainslie. It still cost money (I remember sitting with Gareth Blackburn's dad, who was paying for his campaign, while watching Olympic heats) but at least the people from developing nations had a fighting chance, which is the way it should be.
I think we're in the same chapter if not the same page. You're maybe referring to Gareth Blanckenberg who was the RSA olympic laser sailor in 2000 and 2004, another good example. He won at youth worlds and then decided to give a campaign a go on the back of that. He joined a crew (think it was called "sail coach") with an irish coach. It was both him and Allen from Seychelles who were talented tier 2/3 nation sailors but no base in europe. I'm not sure how the funding worked but essentially it was there to bridge a gap for sailors who were going to get zero material help from their own association. Gareth got really good, peak at about #5 in the ISAF rankings in a fleet that included Scheidt, Ainslie and Goodison. They gained a 3rd team mate along the way, a guy from Slovenia called Vasili and he shot the lights out getting olympic medals.
I'm haven't looked at what programs World Sailing currently have that could help these tier2/3 nations bridge the obvious gap. Going back to cycling, the UCI has a dedicated training centre in switzerland that is open to all countries that have promising talent. They have had gold medalists come through the system there. https://www.uci.org/wcc-development/5MS5C58YJdBFKmIbmUDnfx It has its faults but there should really be something similiar for dinghy sailing based in europe, lowering the barrier to entry with kites and foiling boards is only going to do so much.
buuut now i am way off the topic. Good luck finding a Us ILCA sailor.