Paul Elvstrom

Paul Elvstrom

This picture speaks to the essence of Paul Elvstrom, probably the most talented, driven and competitive sailor of his generation. Happy with his boat on the water and always competing. Four gold medals aside Elvstrom won so many major world events in many classes that to attain his record would be impossible.

He sailed the Firefly, Finns, Soling, Star and an FD wining the worlds with Hans Fogh steering. He sailed Tornado Catamarans with his daughter Trine in 1984 and 1988.  He competed in eight Olympic games as well a record matched by Sir Ben Ainslie. He mentored and schooled Hans Fogh, Ib Andersen, and Pol Hoj Jensen to name a few.

Elvstrom was known as designer, sailmaker and the creator of the wedge shaped Elvstrom bailer.  Over his great career, he loaned the wonderful Elvstrom crown logo to mast and boats. That logo was designed by Paul and today it remains one of the most distinctive logos in the sport.

Elvstrom Sails logoI remember once asking Hans (Fogh) “hey Hans” I asked “why does Paul name all his boats BES?”… Fogh laughed and said “Kerr BES means Buy Elvstrom Sails…”

I met Paul only a few times raced against him as well and the power and presence of Elvstrom was legendary. He focused so hard on every aspect of the sport from fitness and practice to design and development. His need for speed and his love of the sport are easily understood between the pages of the books he authored and the boats or sails or masts that carried his brand forward.

A legend of our sport will forever be an inspiration to us all.

In 2007, Elvstrom was among the first six inductees into the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing Hall of Fame. He died on 7 December 2016 at the age of 88. Elvstrom is survived by four daughters, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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