Paul Elvstroem sailing his Finn at Naples 1960. Image public domain

No doubt about it… Paul Elvstrøm is still the greatest of all times. He invented the self bailer, the tiller extension, designed boats and sails. He lived for sailing, he won the Olympics in the Firefly first and then three times in the Finn. When my boatyard was in the UK we received a fax from him, he wanted a Finn for himself and his 1954 sparring partner Bogie Schwartz. What a honour, at 70 Paul wanted to sail Finn again. He built a special ramp with one electric winch, so he could launch and retrieve his Finn and go sailing.

Paul Elvstroem sailing his Finn at Naples 1960. Image public domain

Paul sailing his Finn at Naples 1960. Image public domain

I remember the Kiel Week that he won in the Tornado with his beatiful daughter Trine at the bow, at times helming from the wire. His big smile after the regatta, as he had cut his hand he was bleeding, I went to him and shook his hand to congratulate, he saw I was full of his blood. He laughed and said, “you might get some good infos through my blood and learn to sail”, what great man and what a legendary sailor, sailmaker and boatbuilder.

Paul Elvstroem back home after his first Gold inb the Firefly Class at London 1948. Image public domain

Paul back home after his first Gold in the Firefly Class at London 1948. Image public domain

Born: 25 February 1928, Copenaghen, Denmark (now 88)

Hellerup SejlKlub

 

Paul Elvstrøm Olympic Medals

1948 London/Torquay Gold Firefly

1952 Helsinki Gold Finn

1956 Melbourne Gold Finn

1960 Rome/Naples Gold Finn

 

World Champion

Finn (2), Snipe, 505 (2), Flying Dutchman, 5.5, Star (2), Soling (2), Half Ton (2)