Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Sailing at the 1996 Summer Olympics

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Venues  Savannah
2 01 !  0 02 !
Boats and Boards  312
0 02 !  1 03 !
Dates  First race: 22 July 1996 (1996-07-22) Last race: 2 August 1996 (1996-08-02)
Sailors  461 (361 male, 100 female) from 78 countries

Sailing/Yachting is an Olympic sport starting from the Games of the 1st Olympiad (1896 Olympics in Athens, Greece). With the exception of 1904 and possibly 1916 sailing was always a part of the Olympic program. The Sailing program of 1996 consisted of a total of ten sailing classes (disciplines). For each class, with the exception of the Soling, eleven races were scheduled from July 22 to August 2, 1996 of the coast of Savannah at the Wassaw Sound (an area of the Atlantic Ocean). For the Soling ten fleetraces were scheduled followed by a series of matchraces for the top 6 boats of the fleetrace result. The sailing was done on the various types of course configurations.



According to the IOC statutes the contests in all sport disciplines must be held either in, or as close as possible to the city which the IOC has chosen. An exception was made for the Olympic yachting events, which customarily must be staged on the open sea. On account of this principle, the city of Savannah was chosen for the organization of the sailing events. Spectators were given the opportunity to board boats that will sail out to the courses to provide a close look at the competition. About 1000 spectators per day made use of the opportunity.

The sailing events were held of the coast of Savannah at the Wassaw Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. The venue used three locations:

  • Satellite Olympic Village in Savannah
  • Olympic marina on Wilmington Island. The Stars and Solings, were towed between the Olympic marina and their race areas.
  • Day marina, a temporary barge system (14,000 m2) near the north side of Wassaw Sound at the mouth of the Wilmington River. The day marina was used as a forward launch area for the dinghies and windsurf boards.
  • Separate course areas were used for the following pairs of classes:

  • Mistral one-design (men and women)
  • Europe and Laser
  • Finn and Star
  • 470 (men and women)
  • Tornado and Soling (fleetracing)
  • Soling (matchracing)
  • Continents

  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Oceania
  • Europe
  • Americas
  • Wildcards

    After the qualification was finished the following sailors were granted a wildcard:

  •  Algeria (ALG) - Mistral One Design Men, (No show)
  •  Guatemala (GUA) - Mistral One Design Men, Cristian Ruata (45th)
  •  Indonesia (INA) - Mistral One Design Men, I Gusti Made Oka Sulaksana (13th)
  •  Thailand (THA) - Mistral One Design Men, Arun Homraruen (21st)
  •  Guam (GUM) - Laser, Brett Chivers, (44th)
  •  San Marino (SMR) - Laser, Luca Belluzzi (56th)
  •  Sudan (SUD) - Laser, (No show)
  •  Cuba (CUB) - 470 Men, Pedro Fernández & Angel Alfredo Jimenez (26th)
  •  Sudan (SUD) - 470 Men, (No show)
  • Incidents

  • The Olympic sailing facility at Savannah was before the opening of the Olympic Games (July 10) within the Hurricane Bertha warning area. Tornados, Stars and Solings were moved to the Sheraton facility. The Day Marina and the Sheraton are being evacuated; the evacuation was complete by 6 PM.
  • On July 27 a Bomb explodes in Centennial Park in Atlanta, one person died, and 111 were injured. The Games continued.
  • Measurement

  • In the Soling some irregularities were found in the construction of the hull. The Soling Class rules specify the hull laminate for each part of the hull. The measurement methods in the Soling are of high standards to ensure the One Design principle. The USA boat was found correct. . The Danish team however was randomly assigned the Spanish spare boat from the pool.
  • In the 470 men the team from the USA also needed to use a spare boat.
  • Weather conditions

    The winds on a typical day in Savannah begin is as follows:

  • In the morning a light breeze from the west to the Northwest at about 5 knots
  • The winds diminish in the late mornings
  • By midday, the sea breeze circulation begins. When the sea breeze does rise, the winds backs to the south and Southeast
  • Wind speed in the afternoon average between 7 and 12 knots
  • Olympic weather reports were provided by the National Weather Service from the locations Atlanta and Savannah. Doppler weather radar was used from Charleston, South Carolina. From Jacksonville, Florida the weather above the offshore courses was observed.


    During the Sailing regattas at the 1996 Summer Olympics among others the following persons were competing in the various classes:


    Sailing at the 1996 Summer Olympics Wikipedia

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