Australia’s most underrated sport
Published on March 23rd, 2019
If you went up to someone random on the street and asked them what they thought Australia’s top five most successful sports were, they would not mention sailing.
If you went up to someone random on the street and asked them to name three sailors who represent Australia in the Olympics, they wouldn’t be able to name one.
If you went up to someone on the street and asked them if they knew anything about sailing, they would most likely say, “Yeah, you know, you just sit on a boat pulling some ropes and drinking champagne.”
And if they say this, then you know they actually have no idea what sailing is.
Sailing can be one of the most extreme, intense, and tiring sports in the world, and if you somewhat followed it, you would know that Australia is easily one of the top, if not the best, sailing country in the world.
In the past two Olympics – 2016 in Rio and 2012 in London – sailing has been the most efficient Australian sport at getting medals.
With ten events, Australia got four medals in 2012 with three of them being gold and the other silver, while 2016 saw the country again get four medals with one of them being gold and the other three being silver.
Yet somehow, no one was able to recognize how successful Australia were in the sailing and focused more on the swimming or the cycling or athletics.
You don’t have to only look at Australia’s results in the Olympics to understand how good the country is at the sport.
For example, look at the America’s Cups which saw an Australian skipper Oracle Team USA to victory in 2010 and 2013, with the crew made up of primarily Australians in 2013 and 2017.
Many will ask, ‘Well why weren’t the Australians sailing on the Australian boat instead of the American boat?’ Maybe because no one in Australia actually cares or knows anything about the sport so no one supports Australia in an America’s Cup campaign.
Many people who follow sailing think that Australian and World Sailing events should be broadcasted on national television. With the number of Australians representing the country in overseas events, a lot of people would be interested in watching them compete and succeed in what they do.
A big issue with broadcasting sailing live is that sailing is a sport on the water. It isn’t like cricket or tennis where it is being played in a stadium and easy to set up cameras from all angles. But with the rate technology has evolved, broadcasting has massively improved. Just need the weather to be as reliable.
With enough funding and support, a TV channel like Nine or Seven would be willing to stream sailing, and it will become a very popular sport both to watch on TV. That will also encourage people to try out the sport.
This would all be a big step towards recognizing sailing around Australia, and spreading the sport to people all around the world.