Friday, July 06, 2012

Laser Sailor on Friday

What is wrong with this picture?

No, wait. That was yesterday's post.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with this picture. It shows a very attractive young woman wearing a bikini. And the woman just happens to be Paige Railey, who is sailing in the Laser Radial for the US in the Olympics in a few weeks. 

Woo hoo! U S A! U S A!

Calm down Tillerman. You have a blog post to write.

The photo is from the US Sailing Team Sperry Top Sider (USSTSTS) website, from a gallery of photos of Paige titled Meet the Team - Paige Railey. There are some photos of Paige sailing, another one of her in a bikini, and one or two others.

I see that some of the the other US Olympic sailors on the USSTSTS have "meat meet the team" galleries, and Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan, the 470 team, have a number of bikini shots in their gallery too.

Let's see. Are there any swimsuit shots of the male teams? Hmmm. Not so much. No speedos for sure! But Erick Storck and Trevor Moore do have one shot where one of the dudes has his shirt off.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm just as great an admirer of the female form as any other red-blooded (heterosexual) male. But is this a new trend? Have US Olympic female sailors been posing in bikinis for US Sailing in previous Olympic cycles? 

And what does it all mean? Are we being asked to admire and support these athletes because of their sailing achievements, or because they look hot in swimsuits? If so, who is driving that? The sponsors? The press? US Sailing? The athletes?

Is this part of the same phenomenon that led to that video Shooting Sailors I posted of some of the Oracle Team USA sailors a few days ago, the one in which a gaggle of female reporters flirted with the sailors and discussed such topics as wearing G-strings, beautiful eyes, how big their biceps were, and how "hot" they were?

Do top sailors have to be "hot" as well as fast these days? 

Did Dennis Conner have to pose for swimsuit photos?


bonnie said...

A l'eau, c'est l'heure!

bonnie said...

Seriously, though - one would hope that in the end it all comes down to how fast the sailor can make a boat go.

How much of a role does sponsorship play in the Olympic team getting selected, though?

Tillerman said...

I don't think sponsorship has anything to do directly with getting selected. The US Olympic sailors qualify for their places on the team through performance at designated regattas.

But it costs a huge amount of money to run an Olympic campaign and unless you are independently wealthy (or have very generous rich parents) all the athletes depend on sponsorship, and the overall team is sponsored by Sperry Top Sider (and others I think.)

So sponsors could easily influence the type of publicity shots they want. But I really don't know if that's what's going on. It could just as easily be that some of the athletes volunteer to do bikini shots every time they see a camera (but somehow I doubt it.). Or perhaps the photographers just like taking shots of lovely young women in bikinis. I have no idea.

I guess the real question is whether it is easier to attract sponsors if you look good in a swimsuit.

bonnie said...

That's probably a given. The question about whether the subjects are doing it because they want to or because they feel like they are supposed to - that's the one I'd be curious about.

Paige looks like she's having fun with hers (although in that first picture I'm almost expecting that the next shot looked like I right?

Tillerman said...

LOL. I'm not going to touch that one!

bonnie said...

And here's another thing...there's bikinis and then there's bikinis.

The one Paige has on here is actually really cute, and (major bonus from an aquatic-type straight woman's p.o.v.) looks like you could actually go for a swim in it.

That recent flap with the swimmer? I went and looked up the pictures, because honestly, I couln't imagine why people would be getting in a tizzy over a swimmer posting a picture of herself in a swimsuit - but man, when I found it, I have to admit that my gut reaction was "Eeeew". Still think it's entirely her business what she wants to do when she's out of the pool but I kinda thought the suit was just really, really ugly.

Tillerman said...

Sorry bonnie. I live under a rock. What was the recent flap with the swimmer?

bonnie said...

No problem, I live in a cubicle but there's internet while I wait for my reports to run. Here you go. Actually the top is kind of fun but the bottom looks like it's hanging in for dear life while she's still on dry land...

bonnie said...

Now if she paired the top with some cute board shorts, she might have something.

Sigmund Freud said...

Please to explain, Herr Tillerman, was ist das "meat the team" we would be seeing on US Sailing website? Surely, they are not spelling it so, then?

We learn so much of the human subconcious when it is making these little slips.

Your childhood, was it a happy one? And this Paige Railey person, you are having some dreams of her, then?

Tillerman said...

Oh Sigmund, you spotted my Sigmundian slip.

I wonder what it means.

My childhood was mainly happy, only marred by compulsory participation in certain team sports. I wonder if that is why I made the slip.

And no, I don't dream about Paige Railey. I dream about rivets. What does that mean?

Tillerman said...

Bonnie, thanks for the education on the swimmer flap. Of course none of these ladies went as far as Petra Niemann in 2008.

Anonymous said...

This short film has it all:

-swimming pigs
-surfing and sailing
-happy kids

-kristjan (now fully retired and sailing more than Tillerman)

Tillerman said...

Swimming pigs are cool.

Bonnie said...

That whole video is cool. Wow.

Now one of the camera experts should explain the shots & cameras to us!

torrid said...

Dude, not to complain about the boobage and all, but I sometimes look at your blog from work. At least throw in a NSFW tag or something.

Tillerman said...

Geeze torrid. The human body was created by God. Who would be offended by the beauty of His creation?

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