Sailors Or Swimsuit Models?

9 Jul

Update: What is in the Gatorade? Now Anna Tunnicliffe, the 2008 Radial gold medallist, is sailing in the buff (see below).

Something strange is going on over at US Sailing. They are running a "Meet The Team" series, which makes sense with the Olympics approaching. But someone, somewhere,deep in the bowels of the US Sailing marketing machine has decided that the best way promote sailors like Paige Railey, Amanda Clark, and Sarah Lihan is to….feature them in bikinis. 

Who knows what Railey was thinking, or whether she was into the idea of showing some skin along with her

sailing skills to win fans. But there is no question where US Sailing was going with this.

And it's not that they stopped with Railey. Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan got the same treatment.

Okay, fine you say. Nothing wrong with a little cupcake these days. And it doesn't bother me, either, apart from the fact that it is so lame and uncreative.

Of course, having settled on an eye-candy marketing strategy, US Sailing will provide some beefcake to go with that cupcake, right? Um, not really. When you meet 49er team Erik Storck and Trevor Moore they are pretty much just sailors. This is about as Cosmo as they go, so US Sailing apparently did not show up to the shoot with Stars & Stripes Speedos.

So now the marketing is officially shallow and sexist. It will be inetersting to see if anyone really notices.

UPDATE–Tunnicliffe Takes The Gold: Maybe they won't, because Anna Tunnicliffe, who apparently doesn't like to be beat, has taken EVERYTHING off for The Body Issue of ESPN The Magazine.

Tunniciffe explained to Sailing World how this came to be. And, hmm, turns out it was US Sailing's idea.

I think [U.S. Sailing Team communications director] Dana [Paxton] heard about it and was like, “Would you be interested in submitting your name?” I said, “OK sure, fat chance that sailing’s ever going to get selected.” They came back and said, [we’d] been keen on having her if she’s into it. I’m like, “Sure, let’s do it. Why not?”

I'm nervous to think what images the flesh pedddlers at US Sailing will come up with next. But I'd be fine if they simply stuck to introducing the sailors with videos like this:




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