Raudaschl sails into the record books
There was no medal for Austrian sailor Hubert Raudaschl may not have won a medal at Atlanta 1996, but he did create a real piece of history when he took to the waters in the two-person keelboat. . It was his ninth consecutive Games, a record in any sport until 2012 when equestrian athlete Ian Millar made his 10th appearance.
Raudaschl had made his Olympic debut more than three decades before, when he arrived in Tokyo in 1964 as a 22-year-old Finn dinghy sailor with dreams of a medal. He didn’t win one then, but he did make it onto the podium four years later in Mexico City, when Raudaschl finished second in his Finn.
After that, he switched from solo sailing to keelboats, initially focusing on the two-man Tempest class in 1972, and then opting for a three-man crew in the Soling class in Montreal in 1976. At the Montreal Games that he teamed up with his brother Walter for the only time, although they could only finish a disappointing 17th.
For the 1980 Games in Moscow Raudaschl switched to the two-man Star class. Now 37 years old, he enjoyed one of his best regattas and took another Olympic silver medal, narrowly missing out on gold to another sailing legend, Valentin Mankin of the USSR.
It is more for his incredible longevity rather than his medal haul that Raudaschl will be remembered. A fifth place followed in Los Angeles 1984, and then top-20 finishes at both Seoul 1988 and Barcelona 1992, before his final appearance on Olympic waters in Atlanta. At the 1996 Games, at the age of 53, he was paired with Andreas Hanakamp, himself an experienced sailor, albeit 23 years Raudaschl’s junior. After finishing 15th, Raudaschl finally retired from competitive sailing.
He retained his ties with the sport however, focusing his energies on helping to run the family sail-making business, which made sails. And the Raudaschl name appeared once again on the list of competitors at the 2012 Games in London, as Hubert’s son Florian represented Austria in the Finn class.