Congratulations to Joe Rouse on correctly solving Sunday's quiz. The mystery sailor/ blogger was indeed Ant Clay who writes the Soulsailor blog.
Here is the picture in the quiz…
And here is the picture of Ant Clay without that amazing hat….
I had to give a bunch of clues before anyone guessed the answer.
Clue #3 referred to a "title" that Ant and Ben Ainslie had both won. At least one reader assumed I was talking about a knighthood but, in truth, Mr. Clay has not been knighted as Sir Anthony Clay by the queen… yet. I was actually referring to the the fact that Ben and Ant have both won the British Optimist National Championship, Ant in 1987 and Ben in 1992.
Clue #8 said that the mystery sailor's blog had appeared in at at least one of my top ten sailing blogs list. In fact it was in the first such list Top Ten Sailing Blogs of 2005 that I first gave a shoutout for Soulsailor.
I started this blog in 2005 but Ant had already been blogging about sailing for a couple of years by then. In a post in 2006 Who's Your Daddy? I tried to address the questions of who is the Daddy of sailing blogs, who started the first sailing blog, who wrote the first blog post about sailing? Soulsailor is certainly one of the earliest sailing blogs, although depending on how you define the meaning of "sailing" and the meaning of "is" he may or may not be the ultimate Daddy of all sailing blogs.
I always enjoyed Soulsailor's regatta reports in his unique earthy vernacular style, full of references to what he ate for breakfast - often "bacon sarnies"- see clue #6; and of what he drank at the post-racing party - often pints of orange juice with gin and tonic chasers - see clue #7; not to mention vivid descriptions of his various excretory needs. As a measure of respect and admiration for his blog I even wrote a parody report of one of my own regattas in an attempt at his style - SlowSailer Racing Association.
Ant sailed a Solo and an Enterprise in which he had some degree of success, and a Miracle (so he could sail more with his kids as I recall.) In his most recent blog posts he has been recounting his attempts to master a foiling International Moth. Tweezerman came the closest to having the right answer to the quiz before Joe when he guessed at Colin Newman, the famous British International Canoe and Moth sailor. Ant even mentioned that he had seen Colin out sailing the same day in one of his posts about sailing the Moth.
But I had to leave some very obvious clues about Soul of a Sailor and even an Ant-themed Xmas Card before the quiz was solved.
So well done to Joe. I guess it helped to be around in the sailing blogosphere in the dim, distant days of 2003-2005.