- 21 Oct 1968
- Mexico 1968
Raudaschl enjoys finest hour in the Finn class
There was a silver medal for sailor Hubert Raudaschl in the Finn class, which was one of the highlights of a career notable for its longevity. We didn't know that at the time, but Raudaschl was on a path to being one of the most enduring Olympic athletes of all time.
Raudaschl was from sailing stock. His father had been a boatbuilder in the village of St Gilgen in Austria's Salzkammergut district, an area known for its lakes and sailing.
Raudaschl attended the 1960 Games as an alternate for the Austrian team but never got to compete. Instead, he made his debut in 1964, where he finished a strong fifth, and went on to compete in nine Olympic Games in a row.
His performance in 1968, though, was probably his finest. Overall victory may have been his dream at the start, but it faded during the opening races as the Soviet sailor Valentyn Mankin took control. He was the class of the field, and rarely faltered in his march to the gold.
Behind him, though, Raudaschl was waging a smart tactical campaign, staying near the front of the field. With the best six out of seven scores counting toward the final score, consistency was crucial. And that's just what he delivered, despite the rich form of his Italian rival Fabio Albarelli in the closing races. In the final race, Raudaschl finished 12th while Albarelli was fighting for victory. Had he won, Albarelli would have taken silver – but in the end he had to settle for third place in the race – and third place in the overall points table. Raudaschl took the silver medal. Further down the results list, finishing in 20th position, was a debutant from Belgium named Jacques Rogge who was to move on from sailing to become President of the International Olympic Committee.
Raudaschl was to claim a second silver at the 1980 Games in Moscow and then, at the age of 53, came 15th overall in the Star class in 1996.