He has been the Maestro for a generation of italian sailors after the Italian Sailing Federation called him after the 1992 Games. He was a fully committed man, working day and night to teach everything about the sport, eager to learn even when he got old, sorrounded by sailing books. He won three gold and one silver even if the USSR did not send him to the Games when he was young for reasons that nothing had to do with the sport (his family was jews)… He was tough, brutal and excessive, like when he broke the collarbone of his Star crew for a bad gybe, but had a great hearth and a sort of magic aura.
Once I had really serious personal troubles and he came to me and said with a big smile, do not worry the sun will shine again in your house too. After my first disappointing Games he trew me out of the team saying that as I was using glasses i could not see the marks, but when I finished second at the Finn euros in Cesme, one of my favourite sailing venues if not the one I loved the most (he was judge there) he came to me and gave a massive and powerful hug and said simply “thanks”, you will be always remebered Great Valentin, Thank you.
Born August 19, 1938 Kiev (Ukraine, former USSR)
Died June 1, 2014 Viareggio (Italy)
1968 Mexico City/Acapulco Gold Finn
1972 Munich/Kiel Gold Tempest
1976 Montreal/Kingston Silver Tempest
1980 Moscow/Tallinn Gold Star
Mankin was the only sailor in the sport to win three gold medals in three different classes.