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US Olympic Sailing History
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Merrick
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Mar 4, 2007, 9:57 AM

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US Olympic Sailing History

The Peter Barrett story has gotten me thinking that a US Olympic sailing history would be good thread to start as a way of collecting and verifying information. I have a bunch of old notes in various places that I'll start posting. Please chime in if you have anything to add or correct.

First the correction on the Peter Barret story. This excerpt was taken from the December 1964 One Design Yachtsman and written by Barret himself, it describes what happened in race three of the 1964 Olympics on the Finn course.

"Not a hell of a lot of writing to do tonight. I started safely in the center of the line, although the leeward end was favored, so I tacked and went under Canadian Bruce Kirby although I probably should have cleared him. Wind was 20-30mph offshore. This put me down so far that I couldn't clear Japanese, whom I had been planning on crossing, so I tacked under him, worked out, and tacked onto port again and crossed him. There had been another boat I figured would be well ahead of me when he crossed me on starboard, but I underestimated my speed and he showed up a half boat length in front of me. I slammed the helm up but couldn't get down just enough and nicked his rub rail at the stern. Sat and luffed a minute and swore at myself; then thought I might as well check my boat speed so I went off on port behind everyone after I tacked for the mark and sailed for a while it became obvious that I was first by 50 yards. I swore at myself some more and went on in.
Kuhweide [German] fourth. He had a good lead now, and I could have won today. Damn! Damn! Damn! Why pull a stupid play now?" (O-DY Dec '64)


Merrick
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Mar 4, 2007, 10:05 AM

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Background
As part of the USISA initiative in 1960 Fred Miller Jr is able to race in the Finn Gold Cup at Travemunde Germany. He finished third behind Andre Nelis(BEL) and Hans Fogh(DEN)
Americans are starting to get the idea to travel to Europe in search of competition.

Tokyo 1964

The US Olympic Trials

Finn

The US Finn fleet had seen tremendous growth in this quadrenium and there can be little doubt that the level of talent in the US had increased greatly and expectations were high.

The Olympic trials for the Finn were held in August at Alamitos Bay California. Henry Sprague must have been considered the favorite. Sprague had won the Finn Nationals the week before as well as the '63 Nationals NA's and The Oday . Peter Barrett had been the US representative at the games in 1960, where he finished a disappointing eleventh. Glen Foster was another sailor of note attending the trials. He was the class president and, along with Harry Anderson, had a lot to do with the growth of the Finn class in this country. We'll hear more from Foster in 1972.

Sprague showed that he had the ability to win the regatta but it was not to be. He received two DNF's in the seven race series one due to a snapped boom and another due to a foul. While Sprague was running into trouble Barrett was putting together a solid and consistent series to take the win by the slimmest of margins and return to the Olympics for a second time.

Although Barrett was the returning Olympian he was by far the underdog. By my estimation the trials are the only regatta he had won all year. He was consistently being beaten by Tillman in regattas in the mid-west and out of the top 5 in some of those events. He finished third at the US Nationals a week before the trials. Tillman was second Sprague first. He was not expected to do well at the Olympics. After the immense growth in the Finn class what was seen as a fluke win by Barrett must have been a heartbreaker.

Results US Olympic Trails Finn Class 1964

1 Peter Barrett 2-2-1-3-5-7-12 (6569)
2 Henry Sprague DNF-1-2-1-10-DNF-1 (6460)
3 Bob Andre 1-4-5-5-7-1-9 (6347)
4 Ted Nordquist 6-3-7-10-2-11-7 (4946)
5 Tom Allen 15-18-22-4-1-10-2 (4858)
6 Glen Foster 7-5-13-2-19-8-10 (4330)
7 Osmand Young DNF-20-4-14-18-5-3 (4064)
8 Steve Martin DNF-6-18-6-3-16-6 (3922)
9 Dave Smalley 10-8-DNF-9-16-3-13 (3716)
10 John Wuestneck 4-13-11-20-13-3-24 (3548)

FD

The US Flying Dutchman trails were held in July at Atlantic Highlands in New Jersey. Thirty-five FD's qualified to attend the regatta

Harry Sindle Jr. was the US representative in 1960, and was 6th at the Worlds in '62, but he had not been practicing much since then. Sindle showed fantastic racing ability at times but was plagued by a withdrawal in the first race, after touching a mark, and a 20th in the fourth.

Harry 'Buddy' Melges and Bill Bentsen (5th in the '63 Worlds) won the series before the last race, but sailed it anyway, the sailors wouldn't have wanted to be a no show for the ABC Television cameras that showed up on the last day. Melges and Bentsen were reported to have only equal speed sailing up wind with break-away speed off the wind.

Results US Olympic Trails FD Class 1964

1 Hary Melges, Bill Bentsen 1-4-3-2-1-3-11 (8013)
2 Sindle DNF-1-2-20-3-1-8 (6888)
3 Norm Freeman 3-13-10-1-4-5-6 (6313)
5 'Ding' Schoonmaker 4-3-9-13-6-4-2 (6156)
6 Jimmy DeWitt 8-11-14-10-2-6-1 (5847)
7 Pat and Jack Duane 2-5-12-9-8-8-9 (5156)
8 Ted Turner 22-6-11-4-16-7-3 (4923)
9 Dink Vail 5-7-6-5-24-14-10 (4703)
10 Gray 24-12-8-14-7-2-12 (4517)

Melges and Bentsen had started their campaign in 1961 (both in their early 30’s) with the specific goal of attending the Olympics. It is during this quadrenium that we begin to see sailors truly campaigning and really putting the time into training although mostly domestically.

Star

The US Star class Olympic trials were held in Chicago. As is usual for the Star class to say that the US trials were competitive would be a gross under statement. Eight of the helmsman were World champion's Don Elder, Bill Buchan, Harry Nye, Malin Burnham, Bob Lippincott, Skip Etchells, Joe Duplin and Dick Stearns. Two were Olympic Medallists Bert Williams (Gold 1956) and Bill Parks (Bronze 1960).

As is to be expected in a fleet of this depth there is a premium on putting together a consistent series by avoiding those deep finished that must have been so easy to come by. With one throw out in the series two bad races could mean the end of the regatta. Bert Williams started with a 30,18 in the first two races. One by one the greats began to fall Skip Etchells started with a 12, 20, DSQ and never had a chance. Hary Nye also fell early with a 19,23 in races 2 and 3. Don Elder wasn't getting it done with a 16,8,6,15 in the first four races. Parks started with an 18,17,18.

As the regatta went on Malin Burnham, Bill Buchan, Joe Duplin, and Dick Sterns were battling for the top spot. By race 4 all but Buchan were carrying one race they would need to throw out in order to win the series. In race 6 Buchan got his, a 24. Sterns won the race and Burnham was third. In the final race Buchan faltered again with a 16. Sterns with a 13 that they would have to keep and Burnham with a third.
Going into the last race Sterns had only a 317-point lead over Comer in second and a 636 point lead over Burnham in third. Comer would win if he won the race and Sterns was less than second. If Burnham won Stearns would need a fourth. Commer and Burnham both led the race at times.

It wasn't until the official scores were tallied that Stearns and Lynn Williams knew that they would be representing their country at the 1964 Olympic Games.

Results US Olympic Trails Star Class 1964

1 Dick Stearns and Lynn Williams 3-3-5-22-3-1-13 (6473)
2 Burnham 17-1-4-3-19-3-3 (6452)
3 Comer 32-4-2-1-7-5-8 (6366)
4 Bennett 2-13-11-2-2-12-4 (6089)
5 Duplin 24-7-7-13-1-15-1
6 Buchan 7-2-9-4-4-24-16 (5206)
7 Lippincott 5-9-3-11-5-20-7 (5001)
8 Elder 16-8-6-15-6-11-2 (4737)
9 Schoonmaker 1-6-10-12-16-WTD-12 (4576)
10 Blackaller 14-10-1-26-11-9-10 (4576)

Dragon

The Dragon class North Americans was held just before the Olympic trials. The favored local team of Lowell North, Dick Deaver and Charlie Rogers had planed to compete in the event until they ran into problems. The local teams Savell boat was protested on the grounds of wood density and hull shape two days before the start of the NA's. The wood density proved not to be a problem but the boats hull was not correct. She was a deadwood was too high and the transom was too small.

For the trials (24 boats) they were able to borrow Dr. Tommy Tomas' three year old Borreson. North fitted the boat out with his own rig and some fittings and proceeded to dominate the trials. North, Deaver and Rogers showed superior speed in two light air races and three windy ones. They had adequate speed in the two medium air races.

It's interesting to note that North was a multiple Star World Champion. Looking at the Star class line up for the trials and the traditionally weak Dragon class in the US, not to mention that the Dragon trials were in his back yard, it's easy to guess why North was in the Dragon and not the Star.

Results US Olympic Trails Dragon Class 1964

1 Lowell North, Dick Deaver and Charlie Rogers 3-1-1-1-2-1-1 (8585)
2 Willis Boyde 1-4-7-18-1-9-11 (5444)
3 Bob Mosbacher 7-16-13-2-4-7-2 (5214)
4 Sid Exley 12-14-2-14-3-4-5 (4582)
5 Alex von Wetter 6-2-3-11-13-5-DNF (4476)
6 Morris Landon 2-3-4-13-DNF-11-13 (4237)
7 Charles Kober 5-5-14-19-10-2-8 (4138)
8 Charles Roth 9-7-5-3-14-19-6 (3987)
9 E.B. Laverich 8-11-6-12-17-6-3 (3830)
10 Maurice Rattray DNF-12-10-10-5-3-12 (3552)

A sister ship to North's unmeasured Dragon did finally measure before the trials. After the regatta North shipped his revised Savell boat to Japan for the Olympics.

5.5-meter

The trials for the 5.5-meter class were held in Newport Rhode Island. Sixteen boats competed.

Eight years after a disaster in the form of a loose shackle kept Don MacNamara off the US Olympic team he was barely in the hunt after winning the penultimate race of the 1964 Olympic trials. MacNamara and his teammates Frank Scully and Joe Batchelder had only the slimmest of chances. The team aboard the Luders-designed Bingo were in a must win situation, second simply would not get the job done. The team on Bingo had been thorough in their preparation, right down to the special MIT-computer-designed sails.

Gunning for the top spot was the Gold Medal helmsman in 1952 (and World Champion in '62) Birtton Chance Jr. with teammates Owen Torrey, bronze medallist in the Swallow 1948, and J. Earle, sailing aboard Charade, a boat of Chance's own design.

Pride sailed by E. Fay, S. Colgate and E Parsons had just as much reason to believe that the Olympic spot could be theirs.

At the first mark it was Bingo twenty seconds ahead of Pride with Charade in third. By the second weather mark the team of MacNamara, Scully and Batchelder on Bingo looked like they would pocket the win. They had opened up their lead to more than a minute. With the finish line about four minutes away disaster struck on MacNamara's boat when the clew pulled out of the jib. MacNamara gave Scully the helm and along with Batchelder held the clew of the jib in for the remainder of the race to win by nineteen seconds over Pride. Pride's Steve Colgate would be back in '68.

Results US Olympic Trails 5.5 meter Class 1964

1 Bingo D. MacNamara, F. Scully, J. Batchelder 5-1-7-4-2-1-1 (6228)
2 Charade B. Chance Jr., O. Torrey, J. Earle 3-4-1-1-6-2-3 (5973)
3 Pride E. Fay, S. Colgate, E. Parsons 4-3-3-2-1-6-2 (5672)
4 Complex V G. Cox, R. Rose, W. Stubner DSQ-2-5-3-3-4-4 (4672)
5 Myriad G Lindemann, R. North, A. Wenzel 2-5-2-5-7-5-5 (4432)
6 State 6 B. Chance Sr., J. Pierce, C. Campbell 1-8-4-DSQ- 8-11-10 (3381)
7 Yankee G. O'Day, V. Sheronas, D. Smith DNS-10-9-9-4-3-8 (2940)
8 Sabre F. Howard, J. Wasserman, L. Newhaus 6-13-8-6-5-12-7 (2748)
9 Chahala H. Gumprecht 9-14-10-8-10-13-6 (2081)
10 Mary M. Dunleavy 7-9-12-12-9-8-11 (2054)

The Olympics

It was said before the Olympics had started that the American team was the strongest in years. Bill Bentsen in his monthly column "The Olympic Year" in the One Design Yachtsman writes, "All in all, it's the strongest team we've fielded for Olympic competition, with much of the credit to the US International Sailing Association for eliminating the money-barrier to a lot of promising yachtsmen. The year of 1964 should be a good one."

The team was accompanied by team manager Julian 'Dooley' K. Roosevelt. Britton Chance Jr. was there as an alternate he seamed to play a coaches role during the event. Jerry Milgrim designer of Bingo's sails, via computer, was also there to help the team. He must have been busy before the event as well. The crew of Bingo brought 50 bags of sails to Japan.

There are often interesting pre-regatta antics, usually having to do with measurement, before the start of the Olympic regatta and 1964 was no different.

The Finns were again provided by the organizers with the stipulation that nothing could be added to the boats. The interesting part is that the competitors could freely alter and move around equipment on their supplied boats. Bruce Kirby: "It really presented an interesting problem-using parts of the boat as issued to make other parts and rigs. I saw Peter Barrett carefully carving away a splinter of his tiller to use somewhere else on the boat. Some of us used our stainless wire halyards to make non-stretch outhaul rigs and for other things. That left only enough halyard to reach the latch at the top of the mast- very unseamanlike because that meant we had to unstep the mast in order to get the sail down- but we did have better outhaul rigs, and it was worth the risk." (O-DY Dec1964)

Finn (33 countries)

Race one was light and shifty. After a mid line start and a good first beat, staying in phase with the shifts, Barrett rounded the first mark in second behind the German. The two were close the whole race and in the end Barrett took the win in race one, Germany second and Australia third. A great start for the American.

In the second race Barrett found himself sailing lower and faster than his competition and was happy with this style and his speed. After a third in race two US teammate Bill Bentsen writes, in his mid regatta report to be sent home to the States: "Barrett wins in the Finns: 'We knew he couldn't win the elims, and we knew he wouldn't show very well over here,' they said. Ha: And on the second day he finished a close third." (O-DY Nov '64)

But race three was the low point for Barrett he writes in his report:
"Not a hell of a lot of writing to do tonight. I started safely in the center of the line, although the leeward end was favored, so I tacked and went under Canadian Bruce Kirby although I probably should have cleared him. Wind was 20-30mph offshore. This put me down so far that I couldn't clear Japanese, whom I had been planning on crossing, so I tacked under him, worked out, and tacked onto port again and crossed him. There had been another boat I figured would be well ahead of me when he crossed me on starboard, but I underestimated my speed and he showed up a half boat length in front of me. I slammed the helm up but couldn't get down just enough and nicked his rub rail at the stern. Sat and luffed a minute and swore at myself; then thought I might as well check my boat speed so I went off on port behind everyone after I tacked for the mark and sailed for a while it became obvious that I was first by 50 yards. I swore at myself some more and went on in.
Kuhweide [German] fourth. He had a good lead now, and I could have won today. Damn! Damn! Damn! Why pull a stupid play now?" (O-DY Dec '64)

We find out later that the other boat didn't even notice the slight contact. It was only Barrett's outstanding sportsmanship that enabled him to take his penalty and withdraw from the race, in accordance with the rules of the time.

Barrett was having a rough time in race four as well. After nearly swamping down wind he cut his hand opening the bailers. He wrote that he was bleeding fairly badly. This is a man who once finished a Finn race after putting his teeth through his lip by getting hit with the boom. We can believe that this was not a small scratch. Later in the same race his traveler control jammed and he had to tie it in one place. In a disappointing race Barrett considered himself lucky to have finished seventh. With his throw out used up in race three he certainly could not afford another bad race.

Race 5 was another windy one, 18-22 mph. Barrett wore seven sweat-shirts and sweat pants in order to add about 50 to 60 pounds of weight to his hiking body. This was legal in 1964 and the FD sailors were also known to load on the sweat-shirts. Barrett finished the race in third. The NewZeland sailor won the race with Denmark in second, Germany was fifth.

In the standings Barrett was only 698 points behind the German in first, 448 ahead of New Zeland in third and 728 ahead of Denmark in fourth.

With a good start in race six Barrett was fourth at the weather mark right behind the German. On the reach four boats got buy Barrett, both to leeward and to windward. He thought to check his rudder. He writes, " I had the only hunk of kelp that I've seen or heard of in 2 weeks trailing off my rudder." Not being a man given to excuses he goes on to blame himself for not considering the possibility sooner. Barrett managed to finish the race in fifth. He had put a stiffer mast in the boat for the day but wasn't happy with his speed and notes that he will go back to the limber spar for the last race.

Going into the last race Germany had the edge but USA, Denmark and New Zealand each had a shot at the Gold. This was fortunate because the German could not afford to single out the second place Barrett and slow him down.

In the final race the wind was 12-15 mph. At the first weather mark the German was leading buy 60 yards. Denmark was in third just in front of Barrett. At the first mark Barrett decided to concentrate on Denmark and the silver medal. Concentrating on Denmark Barrett dropped to seventh with Denmark finishing tenth. New Zealand was 19th. Germany won the race and the Gold Medal. Barrett got the Silver and the Bronze went to Denmark.

Flying Dutchman (21 countries)

The Japanese had an Olympic circle set up. Early in the series there were plenty of complaints that they often picked the wrong weather mark. To make maters worse the starting line was often off because the committee was setting it to the course rather than the breeze.

Race One in the FD had a course set to the left of the wind with no square beats. Bentsen reported that their speed was not good they rounded the first mark in twelfth and finished the race in tenth. Italy won the race, France second and Rhodesia third none of which ultimately made it into the top five. Melges and Bentsen switched jibs for the sail in and were happier with the new one.

Before race two the wind looked like it would be strong so Melges and Bentsen changed their jib [it's unclear weather they were going back to the one they used in the first race]. The course was again set to the left. They watch some of the Stars, who start before them, fetch the first mark. The wind backed a bid just before their start and they had a decent beat. With good speed and current they rounded the first mark in second behind the Australians with the British in third. As the wind got lighter the Australians slowed down. Bentsen noted:" We have sneakily raked our mast more forward by now." In a close race Melges and Bentsen caught Australia but lost the British team of Musto and Morgan. USA got a second.

As with Barrett in the American Finn the third day was the low point for Melges and Bentsen in the FD on this windy day. The Americans had a good first leg and rounded in second behind the Russians with Denmark behind them. After setting the spinnaker on the first reach they capsized. They get the boat back up and began to sail it dry when the rudder broke off followed by the mast falling over. The Americans were out of the third race. The New Zealand team of Ole Pedersen and E.L. Wells won the race with the British in second. The Russians also broke their rudder. Denmark finished fourth after breaking their boom.

It was another windy day for race four although not as windy as the day before. Melges and Bentsen lead all the way around the track but tried to cover both the Danes and New Zealanders towards the end of the race. The Danish boat, sailed by Hans Fogh and Ole Patersen, got buy for the win. The Americans were second and New Zealand third. The British finish fifth.

Race five began with the British leading, New Zealand in second and the Americans in third only 301 points out of first. In race five New Zealand took over the lead with another bullet. Melges and Bentsen were second. The Danes were fourth and the British sixth.

In the final race if the Americans could win with the British in second and New Zealand in fifth there would be a three way tie for first. The tie breaker would go to the Americans. New Zealand proved to strong in the breeze and was fast off the line. The British and the Americans rounded mid fleet. The British could afford to use the race as a throw-out. The Americans however, needed to keep pushing to keep the Danes from taking the Bronze. In the end Melges and Bentsen were tenth. The Danes were in seventh, not enough. With the Americans in tenth Denmark needed to win the race. New Zealand takes the Gold, Britain the Silver, Buddy Melges and Bill Bentsen took the Bronze.

Dragon

The US Dragon team of Lowell North Dick Deaver and Charlie Rogers brought some innovative ideas to the Dragon class, among them were a wire bridle traveler, a bendy rig and more inboard jib leads. This combined with sails that were well designed for the windy conditions made the US team a force to be reckoned with up wind in a breeze. North Deaver and Rogers had trouble with the fist beats throughout the regatta. Britton Chance Reports that they would start well and usually lead their group to a side but in four of seven races it was the wrong side.

The Americans got off to a good start in a light race one. They rounded the first weather mark in second and finish in third. The Danish team won the race.

On day two they have a poor first beat, rounding the weather mark in eleventh but manage to get back to fifth.

While the dinghies were having a terrible time on the windy third race the US Dragon sailors bent their mast like a Star and won the race.

North, Deaver and Rogers spent the rest of the races recovering from bad first beats their placings at the first and last marks in the next for races were 9-3, 8-7, 11-5, 14-8. Their ability to rally saved their regatta.

Denmark won the Gold, Germany the Silver and Lowell North Dick Deaver and Charlie Rogers took home the Bronze.

Star

Dick Stearns and Lynn Williams got off to a rough start in the Star class with a 7 and an 8 in the first two races. The defending Gold Medalllists from Russia had gotten off to a fantastic start with a 3 and a 1, consistent scores in different conditions and shifty winds. After a disappointing two races Stearns and Williams decided that the sails they had been using were old and worn out and maybe they should be using new sails.

In the third race with the wind at a high for the regatta the Russian team was winning again. Stearns and Williams were in fourth. With a huge puff the Russians mast blew to pieces. In fact all of the boats in front of the Americans broke and they won the race. The Swedish took second only ten out of seventeen boats managed to finish the race. One of the casualties was the boat from the Bahamas which started the series with an impressive 1, 5.

The Russians were forced to use a new mast and never got their speed back.

The remainder of the regatta was a close battle between the Americans the Swedes and the Bahamas.

Stearns and Williams went on to finish the last four races with a 2,3,3,2. That was enough to beat Sweden who's 1,2,2,4 wasn't enough to offset their slow start, but not enough to overcome the Bahamas with a 6,1,1,7.
Bahamas took the Gold, Dick Stearns and Lynn Williams got the silver and Sweden got the Bronze.

5.5-meter

MacNamara, Scully and Batchelder were hurt badly in the first race when the course was set so that boats could fetch the weather mark. With a bad start the Americans had few passing lanes and finished the first race in tenth. The Australians won the start and the race.

After a bad first race the American rallied posting a 1,1,6,2,3 in the next five races and had a shot for the Gold going into the last race. The Americans needed to win the last race. Britton Chance reported, " both boats were approaching the finish line on the starboard neither laying, Bingo on Thortons [Sweden] lee bow, clear ahead but unable to cross. As the layline for the weather end was approached, McNamara tacked to port, didn't clear Thorn thus giving Thorn the win and the Silver medal." (O-DY Dec 1964) Australia finished fourth.
Australia won the Gold, Sweden the Silver and MacNamara, Scully and Batchelder got the Bronze.


Merrick
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Mar 4, 2007, 10:27 AM

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Some articles on the 1964 FD trials
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Merrick
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Mar 4, 2007, 2:34 PM

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Before the War (1900 - 1936)

It's generally recognized that the modern Olympic games started in 1896 in Athens. A yachting competition was planed for the games but the wind failed to materialize causing the regatta to be abandoned. Yachting made its first appearance at the 1900 games in Paris.

Paris 1900

The Paris games were held during the Worlds fair and would more accurately be described as an entertaining side show than an elite athletic competition. Most athletes, sailors included, at the Paris games probably didn't even know that they were at the "Olympics" thinking instead that they were just a part of some international sporting event.

The Olympic Competition in Paris generally lacked organization, as a result what actually took place at these events is hard to discern, as there are few records.

There was one American team competing in the Yachting competition, in the 3-10 ton class. The US Yacht Formosa owned by Hary Van Bergen and sailed by Machenry, M., finished third. Five boats were competing in the class.

In keeping with holding the Olympics in conjunction with the Worlds fair the next games were held in St Louis in 1904. All of the boats competing in the Olympics had been large keelboats and since St Louis offered no body of water that could accommodate such large yachts there was no yachting competition scheduled in 1904.

Following Olympics were held in 1908 in London and 1912 in Stockholm. Yachting was featured at both of these games but no American teams competed.

After the First World War the Olympic games, and the Olympic Yachting competition, continued in Antwerp 1920, and Paris 1924. No Americans competed in these games.

Amsterdam 1928

Americans returned to the Olympic Yachting competition in 1928 hosted by Amsterdam. Three classes were scheduled to compete the 8-meter, 6-meter and 12 foot single-handed dinghies.

The scoring in these early games was quite different from our contemporary methods as described by the official record.

RULES OF THE CONTESTS: [for 8 and 6-meter boats]
Seven events are held; after 4 events all contestants drop out which have
not been placed first, second or third at least once. The crew of the vessel
finishing first in most events is the winner.

Int. 8-metres class, Babe, owner O. P. CHURCHILL,
crew: B. P. Weston, M. Curry, F. Hekma, N. B. Hekma

The 8-meter team did not place first second or third at least once in the first four races and so they were obliged to drop out. The team placed 6th out of 8 teams.

Int. 6-metres class, Frieda, owner H. Whiton,
crew: C. Olmsted, W. Outerbridge, J. Thompson, F. Morris

In the 6-Meter class the Americans placed 3rd in the first race and so they would not be eliminated after 4 races. They continued the series to score a 4, ret, 5,5,5,2 to finish 6th out of 13 teams.



The 12 foot dinghies were single handed and had 20 entrants. Two fleets of 10 were sailed at a time.

RULES OF THE CONTESTS: [for Int. 12 ft dinghies]
Each contestant participates in four events and receives a number of points
corresponding to his order of arrival in his group.
The ten contestants obtaining the lowest number of points in the preliminary
contests participate in the finals.
The ten contestants in the finals, sail in four events in accordance with the
principles laid down for the Int. 8 and 6 metres classes.

The US entrant was sailed by Manfred Curry, who was also sailing on the American 8-meter. [I believe the dinghies were sailed in the mornings and the keelboats in the afternoon] Curry advanced to the finals with a 3,5,3,4 in his group. He retired from the first race of the finals. In race 2 he finished 7th and then did not start the last two races. He finished tenth.

Manfred Curry was an American scientist living in Germany. He was well known for his book "Yacht Racing".


Los Angeles 1932

The first Olympic Yachting competition in the United States took place in Los Angeles in 1932. Four classes were scheduled to compete, they were the 8-meter, 6-meter, Star and the Olympic class monotype. According to George Elder the Star was originally scheduled as an exhibition event but with the help of the NAYRU was added as an official event. At this time Olympic Yachting was a mostly European endeavor and the trip proved to be too far for the bigger 8 and 6-meter boats. There is no mention that any of the Stars were charter boats.

Only two 8-meters attended the regatta, from Canada and the United Sates. Six sailors were the maximum allowed on the 8-meter but it was also permissible to have six substitutes. West Coast sailor Owen Churchill returned for his second consecutive Olympiad in the class.

The US team aboard Owen Churchill's Angelita brought 11 sailors to the event, they were John E. Biby, Jr.,William H. Cooper, Karl J. Dorsey, Robert M. Sutton, Pierpont Davis, Alan C. Morgan, Alphonse A. Burnand, Jr., Thomas C. Webster, John E. Huettner, Richard Moore, and Kenneth A. Carey.

In the 4 race series against their only competitor, Canada, the Americans won every race by a comfortable margin.

The US 6-meter team aboard Gallant was faced with two competitors, a team from Sweden and one from Canada. The 6-meter was sailed by a maximum of 5 athletes but 5 substitutes were also allowed. The US brought a team of six to the regatta. Team members were, Robert Carlson Charles E. Smith Temple W. Ashbrook Donald W. Douglas Frederic W. Conant Emmett S. Davis. Both the Swedish and Canadian teams sailed with 4 and no substitutes. In the fist race Sweden had the win and the Americans were second leaving the Canadians in third. This was the way all six races were finished with at least two minutes separating the boats in each race.

The Star class had held selections for the US Olympic team spot that consisted of fleet preliminary races followed by four regional semi-finals after which the winner was sent to the finals. The Great Lakes region did not send a representative and so the finals was a three boat event. Gilbert Gray, of the New Orleans Gulf Fleet, won the event, Eddie Fink was second and Narragansett Bay's Ed Thorn was third.

Star Class US Olympic Games - Final Trials [from 1933 Star Log conflicts with Elders]

1 Jupiter G. Gray 2-1sts 0-2nds 2-3rds 16 pts
2 Mist E. Thorne 0-1sts 3-2nds 1-3rd 15 pts
3 Zoa E. Fink 1-1st 1-2nds 1-3rd 14 pts
4 Nomad C. Damon 1-1st 10 pts
5 Majella II R.Bradley 5 pts

Seven Stars turned up for the Olympic regatta in August. No doubt transportation for the Star boats was much easier than it would have been for an 8-meter. The British sailors actually had a boat in New York. Elder writes: "Colin Ratsey, representing England, was runner-up. He owned two Stars named Joy. He was not the only one who kept a second Star in the New York area, to save the cost of transportation. At that time Colin lived in England and was very definitely a Britisher, otherwise he could never have represented that country in the Olympics."

The first race in the Stars was started after the 8-meter and 6-meter classes had started. The course was an equilateral triangle twice around. Heavy winds caused many boats to reef their sails. Six of the boats were trying to start on port tack. Americans Gray and Libano started on starbord at the pin and forced the British boat, on port, to tack. The British in turn forced other boats to tack. The Americans then tacked and crossed all of the boats to the right of them. They went on to win the race by over five minutes. The British boat Joy was second by over five minutes.

Race two was a windward leeward twice around in a light Southwesterly breeze. The Americans on Jupiter got off to a bad start but slowly worked their way through the fleet on the first lap. On the last run the Americans were right behind the British. A series of luffing matches for the win ensued. The Americans eventually got around the British but not before being passed by South Africa and France. South Africa took the win, France second, USA third and England fourth.

Race four was a windward leeward in a building breeze that reached about twenty knots. Gray and Libano lead the race from start to finish to take the win.

In race five the course was a windward leeward twice around. In a light southwesterly [and probably with an adverse current] all the boats sailed up the shore on the first beat. The Americans sailed the furthest and slightly over stood, but rounded the weather mark in first. They held a slim lead over the French on Tramontane for the entire race and took the win.

The next day again saw a light southwesterly for race six. The course was a triangle once around. The Americans had misunderstood the sailing instructions and were over a minute and a half late for the start. Jupiter managed to work through the fleet to finish third behind the French and the British. The French boat, however, was later disqualified for a port starboard incident with the Swedish boat.

The final race was sailed in another light southwesterly over a triangle, once around. It was a broad reach to the first mark. The Swedes were wining with the British and the French in second and third. The Americans were in fourth when a luffing match between the British and French allowed the Americans to move up to second. The Americans went on to take the win with the Swedes in second. The British and French fought all the way around the course with multiple luffing matches.

In the final standings Americans Gray and Libano took the Gold and the British took the Silver. The Swedish and the Canadians were tied and so they were scheduled for a sail off the following day. The Canadians had already packed their boat when they got the news and failed to show up. The Swedes sailed around the course alone to take the Bronze.

Berlin [Kiel] 1936

Olympic Team Song - 1936
This song was composed by Star sailors Glen Waterhouse and Woody Metcalf, who sung it, to the tune of "Tipperary", to the US Olympic team while aboard the Manhattan, a cruise ship, on rout to the games in Berlin.

"Now we sailed on the Manhattan for old Germany,
Though the purse was rather empty and 'twas hard to raise the fee.
And we hope to show the nations what it takes to strive and win;
In this keen Olympic competition, so It's On to Berlin.
There are sprinters on the sun-deck with the boxers and crew.
The weight-lifters keep us spellbound, so do the fencers, gymnasts, too.
They pitch baseball across the fore hatch; swimmers training in the pool,
While the track team must go slow eating, and not break a rule.
Mr. Brundage is the "Daddy" of this much varied crew,
Wm. Bingham and Lawson Robertson say what we can and cannot do.
Mrs. Sackett runs the parties, Mr Kirby gets the dough,
And the U.S.A. is all behind us, so come on-Let's Go."

Another song by Waterhouse and Metcalf, sung to the tune of "Is it True What They Say About Dixie" and composed on the way out to the fourth race of the Olympics.

"Is it true what they say of Kiel Weather?
Does the sun never shine here at all?
In other ports of sailing, it may be nice and warm;
In Kiel you may be certain, there's just another storm.
Is it true that the breeze knocks you flatter?
That the spray always drips off your dome?
Is it always raining hear 'till it weakens all the beer?
If it's true, then we're going home."

[It should be mentioned that the musicians were from San Francisco]

The Star sailors arrived to the Olympics to find that the Europeans and specifically the Germans had made a decisive leap ahead in their mast and sail development and had a significant speed advantage. The Germans had pioneered the flexible rig and were untouchable. In the second race, after winning the first race, the Germans had to take down their jib after the start in order to adjust their shrouds. They still managed to beat the Americans in this race, finishing fourth to the Americans fifth.

The Germans won the Gold medal before sailing the last race which they then won.

The Swedish and the Dutch also had good speed.

From Glen Waterhouse and Woody Metcalf's report in the "Log of the Star Class" [this report is highly recommended and enjoyable reading]:
"It was soon apparent that the specially cut German sail with their fullness along the foot, combined with the light flexible booms and the method of trimming flatamidships when on the wind, was a more powerful and speedy combination than anything we had seen up to this time." "The Holland entry Bem II was also German built with similar sails."

The Americans were left to fight it out for fourth with a British, a battle they lost in the last race of the regatta.

Probably the top two Stars in the US had stayed home to compete in the Worlds at Rochester. The top European talent was at the Olympics and ours was at home although given that the US had not yet made the development of the Europeans it's unclear that our best would have faired any better. It should be noted that the Europeans had mad a tremendous development in the class in just one quadrenium, or had they not sent their best to the US in 1932?

The US 8-Meter Angelita defeated Santa Maria at a two boat trials to take the spot. Angelita won decisively on the three heavy air days while Pierpont Davis' Santa Maria won on the one light air day. On the final day she limped in under jib after tearing her mainsail.

8-Meter Trials
1 Angeleta O.P. Churchill 2.25-0-2.25-1-2.25 7.75
2 Santa Maria Pierpont Davis 1-0-1-2.24-1 4.25 [both boats elected not to sail day 2]

8-meter:The US team aboard Angelita , (Owen Porter Churcchill ,Robert Mandel Sutto, Carl James Dorsey, William Patrick Jr. Keane ,Frederick Williams Schick , Antonia Churchill) had many returning members from the winning team in 1932. This time Canada would not be their only rival, in fact Canada did not participate. The team finished 10th out of 10 teams. [If the information is correct Angelita was built in 1930 (or 1928) and was likely a dated design by the 1936 Olympics]
From Yachting July 1936 "The American Eight-Meter entry at Kiel, Owen P. Churchill's defending Angelita, arrived at Copenhagen June 6th together with her entire crew. She will compete in the Scandinavian regatta circuit before going to Kiel."


The Olympic Monotype trials were held in Southern California.
Olympic Monotypes: Frank Baldwin Jewett Jr. finished 9th out of 25 with finishes of 17,10,6,15,18,13,6.

The 6-meter trials

1 Mystery Wm Bartholomae, Jr. 6-8.25-5-8.25-7 34.5
2 Synnove Al E. Rogers 8.25-5-7-6-6- 32.25
3 Lanai Bill Slater 5-6-6-7-4- 28
4 Naiad E. Richard Schayer 7-7-8.25-0-5 27.25
5 Galiant Donald Douglas 4-4-2-2-8.25- 20.25
6 Ripples Wm. Candy 3-3-4-4-3- 17
7 Anyway Russell Simmons 2-2-1-5-2 12
8 Caprice George Lauder 1-1-3-3-0 8

6-meter: Mystery The US team of William A Bartholomae Jr., James Hervey Adams II, Charles Speed Garner, Carl C Paul, John Donald Wallace sailing Mystry finished 9th out of 12 with finishes of 6,10,6,6,5,8,wtd.
[The boat was shipped from San Pedro for Hamburg on June 20]
In this Olympics the Swedish Six-meter was disqualified when it was found out that the skipper had taken money to sail some eight years previous.


more later..


Merrick
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Mar 4, 2007, 5:43 PM

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London (Torquay)1948 (start Aug 3)

(Yachting Feb 1948 pg 31) Bob Bavier
"Why is it then that American Yachtsmen take such lukewarm interest in the Olympics? Our record in Olympic competition, in a sport in which we are usually outstanding, is mediocre at best."
In February it looked as if the Dragons and Swallows would not have a US representative.
(The British had a great anticipation for the games)
Courses will be a triange windward leeward triangle.

Trials

Star
There was a change made to the US Olympic Star Trials where each fleet was allowed to send one boat to the event provided they paid the $50. entry fee and agreed to go to the Olympics if they won. The money from the entry fee went to help defray the winners cost of attending the Olympics. The trials were held out of Sheepshead Bay Y.C. with racing held on the ocean side of Coney Island.

Won By the Smarts on Hilarius with two firsts and three seconds. They finished two points ahead of Lokwood Pirie on TwinStar

The margin between the two was achieved on the first day. The Smarts finished second behind Herbert Hild with Pirie in fourth. The Smars and Pirie then each had two wins and two seconds.

Six-meter
Each member organization selected a crew to send to the trials held in Western Long Island (Seawanhaka) sound in June.

Herman Whiton and Alfred L. Loomis Jr. built a new Sperkman and Stevens 6-meter. This was the only new six-meter to be built in the US since 1938, although it was thought that six-meter design had basically peaked and that the new designs were not any faster.
Whiton and Loonis' boat Llanoria beat the "perennial campaigner" Star Wagon owned by James Sheldon.

George Nichol's Goose was notably absent after competing in a tune up race. Goose won the Gold Cup on Long Island sound that September, her fourth straight. This regatta may have been the reason for her absence.

Swallow
Was a new boat and none were in the US (A British firm has offered to built a boat for the American entry in the Olympics)
A woman skipper and crew were entered by the US but they were prevented from competing by the Olympic Organizing committee. The NAYRU and the British YRA protested vigorously but were denied. After finishing second in the Star trials Lockwood Pirie was persuaded to go to England and sail in the Swallow. Owen Torrey, also a successful Star sailor, was in England at the time and agreed to crew in the Swallow.

Dragon
There were only a few Dragons in the US at the time. In August it was still unclear if the US would have an entry.

Firefly
Sailors qualified for the trials through district eliminations. The Trials were held at Larchmont YC in June and sailed in Interclub Dinghies. MIT dinghy sailor, Ralph L. Evans won the regatta. Sailors at the trials included Bobby Monetti and Gardner Cox.
The MIT Nautical Society had a Firefly for Evans to practice in before going to England.

The Olympics

Six-meter
The US Team in the six meter was Herman Whiton, Alfred Loomis, James Weeks, James Smith, Michael Mooney.
Though all the boats were close in performance the Americans had a slight edge and sailed to a convincing victory. The US won races two, three and six in light and fluky winds. In the windy last race the Americans finished second.
1 USA Llanoria 5472
2 SWE Ali Baba II (4033)
3 NOR Apache (3217)

Dragon
The US Dragon was sailed by Henry Duys, Ralph Craig, F. Jackson, Cebern Lovell and Julius Roosevelt.
Somehow the Americans were represented and finished second to last.

Swallow
The US sailors won the sixth race but were not in the hunt for a higher placing.
1 GBR 5625
2 POR 5579
3 USA Margaret 4352
4 SWE 3342
Just after the Olympics Pirie went to Potugal to win the Star worlds. The Smarts got their boat to Portugal and finished third.

Star
The Americans won the second and fourth races and were always in the top of the fleet.
There were six dismastings during the final windy race.
1 USA 5828
2 CUB 4849
3 Holand 4731

Firefly
The firefly is a double handed boat and was tricky to sail single. Even in the light wind there were capsizes. The boats were able to right and continue.
In the final race only nine of the twenty-one avoided capsize.
Evans won the fifth race and was fighting with Elvstrom for the Gold in the last race.
1 DEN 5543
2 USA 5408
3 Holand 5204


Merrick
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Mar 4, 2007, 6:02 PM

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Helsinki 1952 (July 20)

(From Yachting July 1952 pg 3) "This month will see yachtsmen representing the United States in all five sailing classes in the Olympiad in Finland. It is perhaps the most comprehensively international sailing competition in which this country has engaged in some years, yet among yachtsmen in general here it seems to arouse no great fervor." The article goes on to say that this is true for international competition in general.

US Trials

The classes each held trials with the exception of the Finn, the new Olympic single-handed dinghy. The North American Yacht Racing Union (NAYRU) arranged trials since there was no Finn class in the US.

Finn

The Finn trials were held in June at the US Coast Guard Academy in New London Connecticut. Regional eliminations were held, mostly by intercollegiate organizations, to narrow the field down to 28 boats. The series was sailed in Coats Guards twelve-foot dinghies. MIT sailor Edward Melaika won the series with 68 points. Larry Conover, of Dartmouth, was second with 67. Navy's Richard Besse and MIT's Howard Faucett tied for third with 66 points each.

Star

May 25-29
As usual the Star attracted top competition to Bayshore YC on Long Islands Great South Bay for the finals of the US Olympic trials in May. Jack Price and John Reid of Florida won the breeze series. Second was George Schoonmaker on Dingo. Harry Nye was third.

Elder:
"The U.S. finals were sailed on the Great South Bay, with the Bay Shore Y.C. sponsoring the event and the Bayberry Point Y.C. providing the anchorage. Owing to the early shipping date, comparatively few clubs were as yet in commission and we only had just enough powerboats to handle the marks. Shoal water eliminated the help of the Coast Guard and its telephones. Establishing reasonably accurate courses and starting on time was not easy. I know, as I was chairman of the special R.C., but weather conditions were good.
The series quickly developed into a duel between the two Florida entries. Jack Price and Jack Reid, of the Biscayne Bay fleet, won by four points. Jim Schoonmaker was runnerup and became alternate skipper. To avoid misunderstanding, he also lives in Miami, but belongs to the Nassau Star fleet. Nye, Ulmer and Smart followed in the order named. Paul Smart, however, finished ahead of anyone else seeking a substitute berth and became alternate crew. Thus the U.S. was fortified with a second string Star combination at Helsinki that was almost as good as its first."

Dragon

Trials were held in Bellingham Washington in May with a dozen or more boats. Horton, Horton and Bill Lapworth won the event. Glen Foster (Brown '52) with an all Navy crew was second. Garrett Horder was third.

Horton sailed the Olympics with his son and daughter. It's unclear what happened to Bill Lapworth.

5.5

In the May issue of Yachting magazine the NAYRU announced that it would name Britton Chance as the US rep in the 5.5 if there were no other challengers. Chance, a scientist, was living in Sweden at the time, was engaged in research under a Guggenheim fellowship. He had been interested in competing in the Olympics since Bill Carr, his class mate and fraternity brother at Penn, had won a Gold Medal in the 400 meter's in 1932. Chance bought a 5.5 and a week after it arrived he proceeded to win the Genoa winter regatta in Italy, with an international crew. It was based on this performance that the NAYRU decided that they would send him to the Olympics if there were no other challengers.

There were only about two 5.5's in the US at the time and no one challenged Chance for the spot.

Six-meter

The series was basically a match between Goose, owned by a Seawanhaka syndicate and helmed by Eric Ridder, and Llanoria owned by Magnus Konow and helmed by Herman Whiton. Goose fouled out of a race and broke a spreader in another. Llanoria won the series handily. Goose was one of the fastest sixes around and had been notably absent from the 1948 trials.

The Olympics

The wind was mostly light with one windy day and one medium.

Finn

Edward Melaika retired from two races and was disqualified from one. Possibly the different right of way rules was an obstacle in this tight class. In a seven race series with one throw out it's easy to see how he finished last.

Star

George W. Elder
The 1952 Olympics, after a wait of twelve years, were held at Helsinki, Finland. The yachting was on more or less protected waters. The start was about four miles from the harbor, where excellent facilities were provided. The yachtsmen were housed in clubs on small islands near the mainland. They were divided according to nationality, not classes, hence the Star members did not see too much of each other. The point and throw out system was the same as in 1948. Everyone agreed that the races were most efficiently conducted.
The Star course would have been over the same triangle as the one for the one man monotypes, had it not been for Jean Peytel's strenuous objection. As instructions had already been printed, the only thing that could be done was to send the Stars over the next larger triangle, a total of about thirteen and one-quarter miles. It was longer than the regular Star championship course, but a great improvement over the wild scramble of 1948. As a result of the longer course there were no disqualifications. There were no dismastings and only five did not finish, although there were twenty-one entries - a new Olympic record for a class bringing its own boats.

Commanders Straulino and Rode, of the Italian navy won an impressive Olympic victory. They would have won under any point system the writer has ever heard of, never bringing Merope in worse than second in any of their seven starts. Agostino Straulino deserved to win. He was finally able to shake off the ill luck that pursued him for years and his tendency to take rash chances. As a result, he won the three major Star championships held in Europe in 1952.
Price and Reid came nearer winning than most people realize. Had Jack been able to place on the final day, regardless of Straulino winning, he could have thrown out Comanche's seventh and won the series. That sort of thing can happen under the premium point and throw out system. At that the Italian and U.S. entries finished with over two thousand points more than anyone else.
It is interesting to note that of the first five entries to place, Price was the only newcomer to the Olympics. Fiuza and de Cardenas, a Star veteran of twenty-seven years, placed third and fourth respectively. Knowles was fifth and gave the Bahamas their first Olympic points, as the Bahamas only recently had been granted recognition as a separate nation.
An eyewitness reported a twenty mile wind in the first and third race, with fair seas and whitecaps. The other races were sailed in from medium to light weather. It is also reported that the final race was started in no more than a five mile zephyr. The light going may have somewhat cramped Price's style, as he was never an outstanding drifter. My own feeling, however, is that Straulino was finally hitting on all fours in 1952 and that no one could have beaten him. In the second race, Straulino sailed through all seventeen Dragons and all except five of the 5.5's, which classes started ten and twenty minutes, respectively, ahead of the Stars.
I have only spoken with three Star members who were at Helsinki and cannot add much in the way of sideline gossip. Charlie de Cardenas seemed to be more impressed with the fact that women masseurs were in attendance at the steam baths, which he took, than anything else. Perhaps this will add a splash of color to an otherwise rather drab routine account.

Dragon

Dragon: 11 (of 17) USA HORTON, William Landon Sr. HORTON, Muriel Joyce HORTON, William Landon Jr.

5.5
All of the results of US Sailors could have been predicted with the exception of the 5.5-meter team.
1 USA 5751
2 NOR 5325
3 SWE 4554

1 (of 16) Britton Chance Jr. ,Sumner Wheeler White III, Edgar Pardee Earl White Michael Beaver Schoettle (most teams sailed with 3 one of the 4 may have been an alternate)


Britton Chance Interview (7/16/1996):
By Esaúl Sánchez

"I had been a champion of sailboats in New Jersey," he said. "My dream, as that of any other athlete in competitive sports, was to win gold in the Olympics. Then Bill Carr, my classmate and fraternity brother from Penn, won gold in the 400 meters in the 1932 Olympics. He became a great inspiration for me."

The outbreak of World War II prevented Chance from following Carr's lead. Because of the war, the Olympics were suspended after 1936.

Although Chance couldn't prove his athletic prowess, he did demonstrate his scientific ability during World War II. Soon after the battles began, he was recruited for his expertise in physics to do radar research for the military. He worked on the radar project until 1946, a year after the fighting ended. The first postwar Olympics were held two years later in London.

Chance couldn't make the 1948 Olympics. But not all was lost. In 1947, he got a Guggenheim fellowship to do scientific research in Sweden --not far from Helsinki, Finland, the site of the 1952 games.

"This was my last chance to be an Olympian," Chance said. "The place was right for me, but I still needed a boat, a crew, and training to qualify to represent my country."

The Olympic Committee announced in 1951 that 5.5-meter keel sailboats would be raced in Helsinki. The United States had never competed in the 5.5-meter category .
Chance ordered a 5.5-meter boat and registered it to race in the Genoa Winter Regatta in Italy . He hoped that doing well in Genoa would qualify him and his boat to represent the United States in Helsinki.

Chance and his borrowed Swedish-Italian-American crew not only qualified, they won the regatta. It was a hard-earned victory. Chance's sailboat came barely one week before the competition. During the race, it snowed, and there were heavy winds. And Chance hardly knew his shipmates. "I arrived in Genoa to race with a strange crew, in strange waters," he said.

After the Genoa Winter Regatta, the winning vessel was sent to Sweden, where Chance finished training for the Olympics. A week before the opening of the games, Chance and his now all-American crew set sail towards the dangerous northeast waters that lead to Helsinki.

The trip put the sailors within 10 miles of a Soviet base for nuclear missiles. The Soviets were very secretive about that installation and would arrest the crew of any boat coming close to it. The Soviets had to be sure nobody was spying on them, so they would detain any captured crew for a minimum of two weeks.

Chance and his crew were flying the American flag and trying to stay as far as possible from the Russian rocket base. But sailboats are largely at the mercy of wind and currents.
"As we were passing the Soviet base, the wind dropped and the current kept pushing us towards the stakes the Soviets had placed to mark their jurisdiction," Chance recalled. "As we were hopelessly approaching the Soviet territory and a Soviet chase gunboat was approaching to arrest us, a Finn gunboat appeared out of the blue and beat the Russians to catch us. They threw us a line and towed us out to safety."

The rescued Americans made it to Helsinki, where the favorites to win the 5.5-meter event were the Norwegians, the Swedes, the Danes and the Italians. The competition consisted of seven races, with the worst performance being eliminated from the final score of each boat.

In the first race, the Americans finished fourth. They won the second race. Then, in the third race, disaster struck.

"We were fourth in that race when a strong wind broke the tip of our mast," Chance remembered. "We struggled to finish the race and finished 10th that day. By the time we returned to the pier, it was 5 p.m. We had to find a welder and fix the mast that same day because we were supposed to be at the gathering point for the next race at 8 a.m. the next day. We managed to get a welder, and he worked until midnight to get the mast fixed. That night we went to bed totally exhausted."

The next day, the Americans made it to the gathering point on time, but they were weary and worn from the previous day's catastrophe. They placed 11th in the race--due to a lack of sleep. Their quest for a medal had grown a little more distant, although not completely out of reach.

In the fifth race, the Americans placed third. Even more important, the leading Norwegians placed 10th. The Americans' dreams for gold were still alive--albeit barely.
In the sixth race, Chance and his crew finished 26 seconds ahead of the Norwegians. This set the stage for the nerve-wracking final race. To win gold, the Americans would not only have to finish first, but the Norwegians would have to place fourth or worse.
It was a seven-mile-long race, and the Americans crossed the finish line one minute and 34 seconds ahead of everybody else. Second place was hotly contested by a bunch of boats that included the Norwegians. The boats in that group crossed the finish line within seconds of each other. The Finns were slightly ahead, followed by the Britons. The Norwegians placed fourth. The Americans had won the gold. At age 39, Chance had achieved his Olympic goal.

"It was very emotional to be able to come through for the U.S.A.," he said. "But it was also a harrowing experience, and I was drained."

Chance enjoyed the Olympics so much, he decided to stay connected to them--but not as a competitor. For the next Olympic games, he trained the U.S.A. 5.5-meter sailboat crew, and they won gold. Another Olympic team he trained eight years later won bronze.
Many ex-athletes talk about how the discipline they acquired in sports helped them succeed in other professions. Britton Chance, on the contrary, thanks science for many of his achievements in sports. That's why he treasures his U.S. National Medal of Science as much as his Olympic gold medal.

"I've dedicated my life to making very precise measurements and experiments," he said. "That's the same thing I've done to maximize the speed of my boats under different weather conditions. I like to think of it as scientific sailing."


6-meter

With a fourth in race one the Americans aboard Llanoria, Herman Whiton, Eric Ridder, Julius Roosevelt, John Morgan, and Everard Endt, were off to a good start but something went wrong in race two and they were incredibly late for the start. They only managed to pass one boat and finish ninth.

On the third day it was windy. The Americans were in a battle for the win with the Canadian team on Trickson. The Canadians had taken the lead at the end if the second beat but they retired, most likely for hitting the mark, and Llanoria took the win.

On the fourth day the breeze was good again but not as windy as the previous day. The Americans won their second race in the series.

After two lay days the sailors returned to light wind. The Americans finished eighth in a light race five.

In race six Llanoria placed third in good steady wind. But Norway took the win and the overall lead.

In the final deciding race the Americans rounded the first weather mark in third and took the lead during the second beat for the win and the Gold Medal.

This was the second Gold for the American skipper Herman Whiton his first being at the 1948 games and also in the Six-meter. It was his third Olympics his first being the 1928 games in Amsterdam where his team was sixth.

6 Meter: 1 (of 11)USA WHITON, Herman Frasch RIDDER, Eric ROOSEVELT, Julius Kean MORGAN, John Adams ENDT, Everard C. WHITON, Emelyn Thatcher Leonard


Attachments: Chance2.doc (290 KB)


Merrick
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Mar 4, 2007, 6:14 PM

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Melbourne 1956
(lots of holes to fill in)

Dragon:
9 (of 16)USA WALET, Eugene Henry III WALET, Eugene Henry Jr. ECHEVERRIA, Carlos Porfirio Jr. KILLEAN, Daniel Bernard (most competed with 3)

12 Meter (sharpie):
9 (of 13)USA OLSEN, Eric C. Jr. RENEHAN, William Stanley N

Trials were held in Jolly Boats since there were no Sharpies in the US. Olsen won two of the five races.
Whitney and Taylor won the opening race, Olsen won the second. In the third race Olsens mainsheet jammed causing him to commit a foul and he withdrew, while Whitney and Taylor won again.
A gale forced the next day to be postponed.
Olsen came back with two firsts and a third. Whitney had to withdraw from one of the races after a foul. Foster flipped and swamped but managed to finish last
With two races to go it was Whitney (35.75) Foster (34) and Olsen (33.75)
Olsen won the next race while Foster hit the mark and had to drop out.
Foster won the last race while Olsen covered Whitney
Olsen 47
George Whitney and W Davis Taylor43.75
Glen Foster 42.25
Crump 33
Nathanson 31

.
Star: 1 (of 12)USA WILLIAMS, Herbert Philip LOW, Lawrence Edgar

5.5 Meter: 4 (of 10)USA SCHOETTLE, Ferdinand Paul Jr. SHERONAS, Victor Frank BRYANT, John Kent STINSON, Robert Jr.

Finn: 3 (of 20)USA MARVIN, John

[From US Sailing web site under O’day trophy]
Singlehanded racing in North America originally involved for the most part the occasional sailor competing in the Olympics. It received a boost when ex-collegiate sailor, John Marvin, won a bronze medal in the 1956 Olympic Games and the Finn was introduced on a broad scale in North America.
In 1956 Elvstrom spent hours sparring with the U.S. Finn sailor John Marvin, who, after what was in effect a tutorial with the master, won the bronze medal.

Elvstrom: ”Before the racing we had a lot of practice in quite strong winds, and I began to see that the American John Marvin was going to be good. He had only once been in a Finn before but he was really training hard at Melbourne, He had a good weight and he sailed so that he really meant to win.”

The Olympic trails for the Finn were held among four boats at Ottawa.
“The races at Ottawa are a replay of the Finn finals, held origionally at Marion June 14. In those eliminations, also sailed in Fireflies since the US has no Finns, young Tom Hazelhurst of Brown University outmaneuvered his more experienced rivals to win by a quarter off a point. However, the first four finishers were so tightly bunched and the light winds so unlike the blustery Melbourne weather that the committee called for a rematch among the four men. This time they will compete in actual Finns, four of which were unearthed at Ottawa. Wether or not Hazelhurst can again hold off sailors like George O’Day, Joe Marvin or Tom Allen is a mater of some doubt.” [Sports Illustrated]
Attachments: Sports Ilustrated.jpeg (52.7 KB)


Merrick
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Mar 4, 2007, 6:22 PM

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Rome 1960 [Bay of Naples]
(lots of holes to fill)

In this year Herman Whiton establishes the Sailboat Training Facility to promote success in international sailing events and specifically the Olympics.

It's announced that entrants must be the owner or bonafied charter of the boat except for the Finn. Walet had been kecked out of a Lightning championship in the same year for not being an owner, he had won every race.

Regional eliminations to be held for the Star and Finn.
Since the wind is not expected to exceed 12 knots in Italy Race committees will be instructed to try and not hold races in stronger winds.

The USISA [pres. Henry S. Morgan, vp. Trenary, sec. Bob Bavier, tres. Charles F. Morgan] announces that it is raising money in order to send the team so that an inability to pay ones own way will not keep anyone off the team. Credit is due to USOSC chairman James 'Tip' M. Trenary [they set a minimum goal of 35,000]
"The interest in sailing in the Olympics is way ahead of 1956," Trenary said (The Olympics May 1960 issue of Yachting, "and there was a big increase between 1952 and 1956."
"I think that we will see Olympic sailing continue to progress in interest and prestige until it becomes one of the major goals of all our sailors. Now that the machinery is set up to take the financial burden of competing in the games off the individual, there should be a great deal more activity in the years to come."


Finn
Trials in Marblehead July 11
various tune up regattas offered
Regional qualifications for owners were held for the trials. Sailors could also qualify through their college sailing district. Peter Barrett qualified through the Non-owners Eliminations. (Yachting Aug 1960 pg 46)
In 1957 to prepare for the Olympics Seawanhaka YC buys 7 Finns
in 1960 O'day built 30 Finns and Carter Pyle started his Newport Fiberglass Finns.
20 Finns were purchased from O'day so that the trials could be held in evenly matched boats. USISA purchased the sails. Trials were in Marblehead. Barrett (from outside the Finn class) narrowly defeated Tom Allen.

FD
trials Clearwater Fla May 30
Pat Duane sailing with her crew and husband Jack almost succeeded in being the first American woman to represent her country at the Olympic games. The Duanes finish second at the Olympic trials
The trials was a light air event.

1 Harry Sindle and Morford Wood 1-3-2-1-2-1-3 (7,807)
2 Patricia and Jack Duane 2-4-1-2-1-3-8 (7,205)
3 Frank Levinson 3-1-5-6-3-2-4 (6350)
4 Jim Schoonmaker (5,552)
5 Martin Bludwoth (5,524)

(July 1960 Yachting pg 199)

Sindle on the 1960 Olympics "our Genoa was cut too full to move to windward as fast as our competition and they had better spinnakers. We've worked on these problems and I hope we have them licked. We'll see."

Star
trials Atlantic Highlands NJ July 20
(Yachting July 1960 pg 123)
1 Bill Parks, Buck Halperin
2 Dick Sterns
3
4 Harry Nye Jr
5 Gary Comer
6 Gene Corley

Dragon
Olympic trials scheduled for Southern YC Lake Pontchatrain June 10-17
Southern YC announces a qualification for the trials
21 boats

On the first day the winds were 35 knots and since the committee had agreed to not race in over 15 knots (since winds in Italy were expected to be light) racing was canceled for the day. The rest of the series was sailed in relatively good breeze.

The contenders early in the series were Walet, Kober, Curtis, Morgan, Mosbacher and Deluka

After an 18 in race 6 Kober took the lead in the series, by 857.5 points, with Walet in second.

In the last race Kober rounded the first mark in sixth but Wallet was in 13th. In a a light and shift run Wallet passed Kober to leeward and moved into fourth by the end of the leg. On the second beat Wallet spit with the fleet and rounded the weather mark in first. They held the lead to the finish and won the trials.

1 Walet, McClure, Kober 1-4-1-7-9-18-1 (6137.8)
2 Kober 3-10-7-3-1-1-6 (5961.7)
3 Glenn Thorpe (5176.7)
4 N.C. Curtis (5079.7)
5 John Morgan (4941.6)
6 Bob Mosbacher (4681.8)

5.5
Trials in Marblehead June 19
12-18 boats expected to tune up from May on.
various tune up regattas offered
It was believed that Rome would be a light air event and so new boats needed to be designed. There was not much new growth in the class.
Oday was one of the few new faces in the class, originally at the helm of the old Rush IV. They needed a new boat for the light air and originally went to Hunt but got cold feet and bought Wistfull from the European Ohlson.
Eleven boats competed.
Winds were mostly 7-10 knots.
Seven of the eleven boats were said to be evenlt matched (Yachting Aug 1960 pg 172)[should be able to go back and piece the scores together]
"In addition to Wistfull, Fantasia and Complex; Aries, sailed by Andy Schoettle, and Minotaur, owned by John Mooney, each won a race.
In the opening race four boats finished within 16 seconds. Fantasia won the race by six inches in what was literally a photo finish. Wistful finished fifth.

O'Day Wistful
Ted Hood, Bradley Noyes Fantasia
Runyon Colie Jr, Britton Chance Complex III

The Olympics (Yachting Nov. 1960 pg 74)

Dragon: 10 (of 27)USA WALET, Eugene Henry III MCCLURE, Allen Wilford Jr. KOHLER, Claude Lazard II

FD: 19 (of 31)USA SINDLE, Harry Robert WOOD, Robert Morford

Star: 3 (of 26)USA PARKS, William Wilson HALPERIN, Robert Sherman

At the 1960 Rome Olympics, Halperin was a member of Shrew II, the United States' International Star Class yacht (skippered by Bill Parks). Halperin and Parks, both of whom were from Chicago, did not begin the competition well as they finished in ninth place in Race 1, and seventh place in Race 2. After placing fourth in Race 3, they finished in the top three for the remaining races, winning the seventh, and last, race. Halperin and Parks won the bronze medal by finishing in third place with 6,269 points (the Soviet Union won the competition with 7,619 points).
At the World Championships, it is now a tradition that the skipper with the best total score after three races has his name engraved on the Vanderveer Trophy; the crew member's name is engraved on the Buck Halperin Trophy.
Halperin “was a fierce competitor who won the Navy Cross in World WarII for heroism under fire.“

5.5 Meter:
1 (of 19)USA O'DAY, George Dwyer HUNT, James Hawley SMITH, David James

One golden Summer
By Eric Gongola, Standard-Times staff writer
WESTPORT -- The sea has always beckoned James Hunt, even if the voices he hears in the wind have changed.
"Racing used to mean more to me than sailing," says the 1960 Olympic gold medalist, who resides with his wife Nina in Westport. "I loved the competition. But I just grew tired of it."
Thirty-six summers ago in the waters off Naples, Italy, talent and opportunity conspired to provide Hunt with memories to last him a lifetime.

"I had just gone to work for (boat builder) George O'Day and he asked me to be a member of his crew" in a bid to secure an Olympic berth in the 5.5-meter class, Hunt explains.
O'Day and his crew of David Smith and the 24-year-old Hunt proceeded to edge out 16 other boats at the Olympic Trials on familiar waters off Marblehead in June of '60.
Ironically, theirs was not the fastest boat at the Trials. That distinction belonged to the Minotaur, a boat designed by Naval architect Ray Hunt -- James Hunt's father.
While the skills of O'Day's crew won out over Ray Hunt's superior design at the Trials, everyone knew the combination could prove unbeatable at the Olympics. When the owner of the Minotaur agreed to turn his craft over to O'Day and his crew, a gold medal for Team USA was all but assured.
"We sailed seven races and didn't even have to sail our final race because we were so far ahead on points," Hunt recalls. "It was a wonderful experience. We stayed at the best hotels in Naples, with a magnificent view of Vesuvius (an active volcano overlooking the Bay of Naples). I went back to see the area again in '88 when my wife and I sailed to Turkey."
Recently, the Hunts sailed home from Seattle, passing through the Panama Canal and catching a glimpse of the Olympic regatta practicing in the waters off Savannah, Ga.
"It's only natural to reflect on the gold medal a little more during an Olympic year," says Hunt. "We received quite a homecoming in racing circle. But I don't think sailing is as popular a sport as it used to be. One reason is that it's not a very viewable sport."
It's no secret that the nature of amateur competition has changed as well.
"When we won the gold we had a good boat and, no question, we had a good crew," says Hunt. "But in the months leading up to the Trials we probably trained every other weekend. Today, these people are out there training for years in preparation for the Olympics."
Following his brush with glory in Naples, Hunt went on to run four sailboat companies and continued to race periodically.
He crewed on the 5.5 meter Chaje II, another Ray Hunt design, which won the world championships in 1963. He also became the first New Bedford Yacht Club skipper to win a national title with his victory in the Mallory Cup in 1968.
He twice sailed in the America's Cup Trials, in 1958 and '62, but failed to qualify.
Raised in Cohasset and later Marblehead, Hunt began crewing for his father at age 14 in the Newport-to-Bermuda race. Through sailing, he says, his family has had ties to this area since the early '60s.
"My father was a great sailor, very intuitive, but he was very hard to sail for," Hunt recalls, alluding to his dad's reputation as a perfectionist. "He designed many wonderful boats, including the Boston Whaler, and he's the only person ever to win the National Junior Championships three times."
Before Hunt and his wife departed for Turkey nearly nine years ago, he left his gold medal in the care of friends Willie and Susan Hampton. He didn't see the medal again until a few weeks ago. But that doesn't mean his accomplishments of more than half a lifetime ago have lost their luster.
"There's no question, representing the United States was a proud moment for me," he says. "There's nothing bigger than that."
It was 36 years ago when Westport's James Hunt raced his way to Olympic gold on a boat designed by his father.




The Publisher
*****


Mar 6, 2007, 3:07 PM

Post #9 of 13 (30107 views)
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Re: [Merrick] US Olympic Sailing History [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

This is posted on the US Sailing website:

Though the U.S. first competed in the Yachting Olympics in 1900, medal success in the sailing events did not begin until 1932. Prior to 1960, there was no formal Olympic program. Every four years, the U.S. organizations representing the Olympic classes -- designated for Olympic competition by the International Yacht Racing Union (now the International Sailing Federation) -- held trials, with the winners going to the Games. Established to organize and supervise the Olympic effort, the OSC's ability to create an effective program initially was encumbered by a meager $25,000/year budget, inexperience and few role models.

In 1977, Sam Merrick, a life-long racing sailor nearing the end of a 40-year career in public service, was asked to consider active involvement in the OSC. Told that his participation would involve a time commitment of perhaps one afternoon each week, Merrick soon found it necessary to retire and devote himself full-time as OSC Director.

In 1980, after the boycotted Olympic Games in the Soviet Union, Merrick added the OSC Chairmanship to his job as OSC Director. In the aftermath of the boycott, U.S. Olympic sailing was in disarray. Sailors were disillusioned and disappointed, and many had either left, or were considering leaving, Olympic competition.

It was Merrick, along with several other prominent sailors, who toured the nation giving clinics and speeches to promote Olympic sailing. At the same time, the OSC established its organizational structure, developed a coaching program and began a grants program for competition abroad.

In essence, Merrick's direction guided the committee to become what had been intended from the start. The budget increased to more than $200,000 in 1980 and exceeded $750,000 in 1984, all under Merrick's firm administration.

In 1984, for the first time in U.S. Olympic sailing, a required post-Trials/pre-Games training camp was run in Long Beach, California, venue of both the Trials and the Games. Tuning partners for each competitor; daily team meetings; on-the-water coaching with photographic analysis; and other training techniques were instituted. Through the four-week camp, a group of top-notch individuals became a cohesive team, all learning, training and sharing their expertise.

The efforts paid off with a U.S. sweep of the Yachting event -- seven medals in seven events (three gold and four silver) -- the best record of any U.S. team competing at the '84 Games.

Andy Kostanecki took over the committee in late 1984, looking for areas where the program could ensure continued achievement. "The strength of the Olympic Team is dependent on the strength of the classes," Kostanecki would say.
Understanding that a long-term approach to competition and training plus a realistic commitment to Olympic campaigning and funding were vital, Kostanecki increased active participation by the class organizations. Also, he created a dialogue and effective communication between US SAILING and the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC).

In writing proposals for critical USOC funding, Kostanecki soon realized that sailing did not have a focused and marketable program. Thus, the US Sailing Team was created as an umbrella for the Olympic, Pan American and Goodwill Games teams, plus the sailors named annually to the Team who were ranked top five in each Olympic sailing event.

USOC and corporate funding increased, as did awareness of the Team within the sailing community. Being named to the Team became an important goal for sailors with active Olympic campaigns and was a great benefit in the sailors' fund-raising efforts.

Under Kostanecki's leadership, the 1988 post-Trials training camp, again held in Long Beach, was expanded to include a daily schedule of clinics, racing, nutrition and strenuous physical training.

The 1988 Olympic Yachting event was held in Pusan, Korea. The U.S. again dominated the competition garnering the most medals of any sailing nation -- five medals in eight events (one gold, two silver and two bronze).

Thanks to the City of Miami and the tremendous energy of a group of dedicated sailors, the U.S. Sailing Center opened in 1988 and soon became the preferred site for winter training and racing of world class sailors. Complementing the Miami facility, sailing centers in Long Beach, California, and Stuart, Florida, have opened to make excellent training sites available year-round on both coasts.

Perhaps Kostanecki's greatest achievement lay in the current relationship which US SAILING now enjoys with USOC. The OSC receives USOC funds for travel grants, coaching, boat loan programs and other specialized training. Additionaly, US SAILING and the OSC often participate in USOC decisions on items of importance to sailing and Olympic competition.
Mike Schoettle became the committe chairman in 1988, and broadened the OSC's emphasis to include advances in technology, increased competition stateside and additional coaching dedicated to those classes with the greatest need. Three U.S. and one Canadian Olympic Classes Regattas (OCR), Miami, Alamitos Bay, Marblehead and CORK respectively, were linked to create the Can-Am Series aimed at increasing international competition in North America.

Schoettle instituted a sophisticated corporate sponsorship program to include a broad range of fulfillment opportunities for sponsors to associate with the Team, promote their products and contribute to the Olympic movement.

The Team concept continues to develop. Team members receive clothing, a membership card and certificate, fundraising assistance, publicity support, the right to participate in the USOC Job Opportunities Program, and travel grants for competition abroad.


Merrick
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Mar 6, 2007, 4:04 PM

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5.5 Meter trials in Newport Beach
News article attached


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Merrick
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Mar 6, 2007, 4:16 PM

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Full Text at:
http://www.starclass.org/history/forty-intro.htm
A great read.

Forty Years Among the Stars
by
Commodore George W. Elder

Chapter VIII - The Olympics
Stars made their Olympic debut in 1932. Star sailors stole the show that year at Los Angeles, three out of the four yachting events being won by Star skippers. Aside from their own series, Jacques Le Brun, of France, won the little singlehanded one-design (Monotype) crown. Owen Churchill was at the helm of Babe, U.S. winner among the Eight Metres. In contrast to other yachtsmen from different countries, Star members were old friends and spent much of their time ashore together. It was the first time that the rest of the yachting world was able to witness the comradeship already developed by the I.S.C.Y.R.A.

Originally scheduled as an exhibition, a sort of unofficial test of popularity, Stars were eventually included as one of the regular classes on the Olympic program. It is doubtful if that could ever have been accomplished without the cooperation of the N.A.Y.R.U., which was recognized as the national authority of the U.S.A.

Getting back to Star competition, Gilbert Gray, of New Orleans, sailed Jupiter to a decisive victory. With Andrew Labino as crew, he won five firsts and was never seriously threatened. Gilbert rose to the occasion and sailed the best series of his career, giving the U.S. its first Olympic Star champion.

Colin Ratsey, representing England, was runner-up. He owned two Stars named Joy. He was not the only one who kept a second Star in the New York area, to save the cost of transportation. At that time Colin lived in England and was very definitely a Britisher, otherwise he could never have represented that country in the Olympics.

Gunnar Asther, sailing Swedish Star, won the bronze Olympic medal. As a matter of fact Harry Wylie, of Canada, tied for third. Due to a misunderstanding, Harry shipped his Star home immediately after the series was over, hence Sweden won the sail-off by default.

The one-man Monotypes, always furnished locally, were raced as a skipper's series in the mornings, each man sailing each boat once. Some Star skippers did double duty, racing these boats in the morning and Stars in the afternoon. As a result Cecil Goodricke, of South Africa, missed one Star race entirely. He was the dark horse, as we had no fleet in South Africa, and surprised the boys by winning one Star race. Fleets, of course, have nothing to do with Olympics. A national entry can build, or buy into, any specified Olympic class. Goodricke can best be remembered by the fact that he kept blowing a little tin whistle, when on the starboard tack, to warn others that he was coming. Such politeness! The average skipper keeps his mouth shut and his fingers crossed, hoping that someone will come close enough to be hailed about and commit a technical foul.

When the Maas brothers landed in New York, on their way back to Los Angeles, they dropped in at the office. They were only kids then, but full of enthusiasm. I remember that I took them out to lunch. The boys ordered rye bread and tomato ketchup, much to the dismay of the waitress, as both were "for free." I wish that other luncheon guests had a similar appetite, as that would help beat the high cost of living. Adrian Maas, however, has established a remarkable record. He has sailed a Star for Holland in the Olympics, ever since the Stars were included, and has won two Olympic medals.

I am not sure how all the 1932 Olympic yachting entries were selected, but most of them were the result of national trials. U.S. Star members have always handled their own method of selecting an Olympic entry. In 1932 and 1936 it consisted of fleet preliminaries, four regional semi-finals and finals. I am not apt to forget as I have two U.S.O.C. certificates framed and hanging on the wall as a reminder that I was also a contestant that first year and managed to tie for first at Narragansett Bay, but was beaten in the sail-off by Ed Thorn. The Great Lakes did not send an entry, so that there were only three in the finals. Gilbert Gray won, of course, and Eddie Fink was second, which made him the U.S. Star alternate.

The 1936 Olympic yachting events were sailed off Kiel, Germany. The courses were on the Aussenforde (Outer Bay) and radiated in all directions from the starting line. Every afternoon, when the race was over, crowds gathered on the Hindenburg Ufer, where the flags of the three nations that placed were hoisted. On the final day, when prizes were presented, Hitler was there in person. I was not there, but all who were, agree that everything possible was done for the comfort and convenience of the competing yachtsmen. To this I can add that the German yachting co-operated in every way with the I.S.C.Y.R.A. All our class rules were enforced, our measurement-certificates were not questioned and even our total point score system applied to the Star series.

The Olympic Star title was won by Dr. Peter Bischoff, who sailed the German Star Wannsee, with Hans-Joachim Weise as crew. They won by a greater point margin than Gray did in 1932. Both were reported killed in the last world war. Laurin, of Sweden, placed second, but only one point ahead of Adrian Maas. The Holland skipper, however, won the first race in a howling gale, but was disqualified. He was really the only one that gave Bischoff a run for his money.

The best the U.S. entry was able to do was place fifth. Girogono, of England, is to be complimented upon finishing fourth, being a newcomer to the Star class. The French skipper Herbulot won the second race, but he also was disqualified. As a matter of fact the reader will get a much better overall picture of the series by reading the summaries.

Many have asked why Walter von Hütschler, who is credited with training Bischoff and Weise, did not himself represent Germany in the 1936 Olympics. Walter was born in Brazil of Brazilian parents. He was not German and was not eligible to represent Germany in any form of Olympic competition. His name is of German origin, but so is the name of many Brazilians. Walter did, however, live in Germany for a number of years. Residence, not nationality, governs eligibility under Star rules. He had a perfect right, therefore to join the Star fleet in the locality where he then resided and to represent it in any Star event under the auspices of the I.S.C.Y.R.A.

The 1936 U.S. trials were held off Sayville, N.Y. Once again there were only three entries, the Great Lakes sending none. Glen Waterhouse, of San Francisco, won, but only after a sail-off with Eddie Ketchem, the eastern semi-finalist. The U.S. came very near to being represented that time by the old Draco, a relic of the days of Ike Smith. A couple of tall lanky Texans, who wore five gallon hats, represented the southland. Skipper Dan Ryan did beat Waterhouse once and was responsible for the sail-off, but finished the series in last place.

Only the fleet try outs and regional semi-finals in the New York area were reasonably well attended in 1936. Throughout the rest of the U.S., because of the additional time and expense involved, such preliminary events had very few entries. Yachting is one of the few U.S. Olympic sports in which contestants have to finance themselves. While that is bound to reduce the number and to some extent the quality of prospective Olympic entries, it's the only logical solution. The cost of the 1948 U.S. six meter entry, which was built especially for the Olympics, has been estimated at around ninety thousand dollars. If any such amount was taken from the Olympic fund, there would not be enough to take care of the other fields of sport. The I.S.C.Y.R.A. cannot finance the U.S. Star Olympic entry, as it has no national subdivision of its funds. If it did that, it would also have to underwrite entries of twenty odd other countries.

The exploits of Glen Waterhouse and his crew Woodie Metcalf are worthy of mention. They were the "singingest" pair of Star members we ever had. They sang Abalone Moon, Hail To California, Eight Bells, etc. They even sang during a race. When they were not singing they were composing lyrics. Their first break came when the regional semi-finals at Santa Barbara were cancelled because their one rival there withdrew. That enabled them to ship Three Star Two east with the University of California rowing shells. Arriving at Poughkeepsie, they bought an old Buick for thirty dollars, with which to trail their Star to Sayville. The U.S.O.C. chartered the S.S. Manhattan that year, so the Star could be shipped on deck gratis, at the owner's risk. After loading it, they returned to the Commodore Hotel and parked. While discussing what to do with the Buick, a N.Y. cop came along and they thought they were pinched. All he wanted to know was what they were doing in Olympic uniforms. When they told him about the Buick, he gave them twenty dollars, got in it and drove away. Hence, except for loading costs and gas, it cost them only ten dollars to transport their Star to Germany.

I do not know how long they had been experimenting with them, but flexible spars were already being used on German Stars in 1936 and also on some Stars of neighboring countries. We all know today that flexible spars, properly handled, will always beat rigid ones. This is not said as an alibi, as German skippers were then highly efficient: but it may make Glen happy to know that he did not have a chance with the rig he was using.

Spar flexing is an operation. Star rules distinctly state that spar diameters and methods of rigging are optional. The Germans did not even violate the rules in principle, anymore so than if they had developed a new technique in seamanship. Every Star Olympic contestant in 1936 saw the rig in operation on German built Stars. Let me quote from an article by Woodie Metcalf, describing his Olympic experiences. "The specially cut German sails, with fullness along the foot, combined with a light flexible boom and method of trimming flat amidship, was a powerful and speedy combination." It will be noted that he even used the term flexible.

Waterhouse and Metcalf simply did not realize that they were seeing a revolutionary and almost automatic operation governing draft. That is no more surprising than that the hundreds, who read the above mentioned article, also failed to grasp that fact. According to von Hütschler, the German skippers themselves did not yet fully appreciate the many advantages to be gained from what they had developed.

The 1940 Olympics, slated for Finland, were cancelled because of the war. The twelfth and thirteenth Olympiads (an Olympiad being a measure of time) were, therefore, skipped. The games were renewed and held in England in 1948, the yachting events being sailed on Torquay Bay.

The Star was not one of the four classes originally designated for the Olympics. The unvarnished truth is that British top yachting brass, which practically controlled the permanent committee of the I.Y.R.U., did not like Stars. The chief bone of contention was the two man one-design Swallow. Like the jib and mainsail Firefly dinghy, it was a new creation by the English designer Uffa Fox. Being new, naturally there were only a few Swallows in existence, almost all of them being in England. The only measure of popularity in yachting is the international distribution and activity of a given class. Many countries thought it odd that the Star should have been replaced by an unknown quantity. Their overwhelming requests for the Star resulted in its being included as a fifth Olympic class, thereby establishing a new precedent.

Perhaps I better start by telling about the U.S. Olympic trials of 1948, because of a drastic change made in the system. Each fleet was entitled to send one entry direct to the finals. The skipper had to agree in writing to go if he won and, just to keep him honest, a fifty dollar entry fee was required. The money went to help defray in part the cost of shipping the winner's Star.

The finals were sailed on the ocean side of Coney Island, with the anchorage and headquarters at the Sheepshead Bay Y.C. Because of the many fishing boats in that area, the cooperation of the Coast Guard was most helpful. Hilary Smart defeated Woodie Pirie by a single point in a close and exciting series. It was necessary to go down to a tie for sixth place between Cebern Lee and Ralph Craig, in order to find two alternates willing to make the trip. They were also named as alternates for several other United States classes.

Two girls were originally selected to represent the U.S. in the Swallow class, but the entry could not be accepted. That had nothing to do with yachting, but a general Olympic rule, which prohibits men and women from competing in the same event. On the night of the final Star banquet, Mr. Loomis, manager of the U.S. yachting team, came down to Sheepshead Bay and between us we persuaded Woodie to skipper the Swallow for the U.S. Owen Torrey, a good Star skipper in his own right, happened to be in London at the time and was willing to act as crew. I believe that the charter price of the Swallow was a suit of new sails, but anyway Woodie and Owen gave the U.S. a third place among the Swallows. There were other Star skippers sailing in that class, including Bello, of Portugal, who owned his own boat. If I remember correctly, he placed second.

Durward Knowles, who was then international Star class champion, only learned at the last moment that the Bahamas were not entitled to a separate Olympic entry, but could compete only for Great Britain. He immediately shipped his Star from Nassau to Miami. He and his crew trailed it from there to New York, driving day and night. At that they would have missed the Queen Elizabeth, except for a bomb scare, which delayed her departure for several hours. Durward had no trouble in winning the finals in England, as he was sailing against a less experienced group of Star skippers. In the Olympics, however, he ran into tough luck. He was dismasted and disqualified in the last two races. At that he placed fourth.

As the games originated in Greece, Greek athletes always lead the Olympic parade of nations. George Calambokidis headed that group as its standard bearer. Ralph Craig was elected to carry the Stars and Stripes. It was the second time he represented the U.S. In 1912 he had won both the one hundred and two hundred meter dashes. Hence two Star skippers had the honor of marching at Wimbly, in a temperature of one hundred and three degrees, carrying the flag of their respective countries.

Out of the scheduled seven races, an entry's best six counted in the point score. In other words a skipper could throw out any one race he desired. There are two schools of thought on the subject. If disabled through no fault of his own, perhaps the skipper should not have to suffer. Everyone will agree, however, that he should not be allowed to throw out a disqualification and nullify the penalty, as we must assume that officials know their business and that the disqualification was deserved. The point system was figured on a formula, which frankly I dot not fully understand. It provides a big premium for winning, which conforms to Olympic principles. As you go down the list the difference in points between positions keeps diminishing, until very few points separate those at the bottom. My personal opinion is that the throw out system encourages reckless sailing, because the skipper knows that the race does not have to count. I also feel that the old fashioned total point system is a more accurate measure of ability, as yachting is about the only sport in which wind shifts, slants, puffs, etc., affect the order of finish and are unpredictable.

Whoever laid out the courses off Torquay must have thought that Stars were toy boats. The Star course combined a windward and leeward and a triangle, sailed three times around, for a total of about seven and one-half miles. One can judge from this how short the windward leg must have been. The seventeen Star entries could not get out of each other's hair and were constantly in danger of a foul. That accounts for the many disqualifications, to say nothing of the disallowed protests, in 1948. Most of the contestants had to wait around after each race to testify as principals or witnesses at the hearing of some protest. They would have been there yet, if the hearings had not been conducted with the dispatch of traffic violations.

The first four races were sailed in comparatively light air and, after a three day rest period, the last three races provided rather rugged going. Hilary Smart, with his father Paul as crew, made his best showing during the first part of the series, taking two firsts and a second. That gave the U.S. the 1948 Star Olympics by nearly one thousand points. Carlos de Cardenas, with his son as crew, finished in a blaze of glory. Charlie, who has always liked plenty of wind, took a first and second to make Cuba runner-up. Adrian Maas was once again third. On the total point system, used in the two previous Olympics, the Holland skipper would have won. Italy's Straulino actually finished first four times, but was disqualified on two of those occasions and dismasted in the last race. Nevertheless, he placed fifth. His daily record and that of Maas, if the reader will look at the summaries, is a good example of the difference between the two systems.

Star contestants were plagued with unexpected difficulties and expenses from the start. Over here the right hand did not know what the left was doing. The U.S.O.C. was most helpful in arranging for the Star and Star contingent to go on the Manhattan with the rest of the Olympic team. I was given full authority to handle the Star entry, but someone else must have been given like authority. At the last moment the Star entry was switched to the Queen. Fortunately the boys could afford the additional expense.

Finalists and semi-finalists did not receive their U.S.O.C. certificates although I sent a certified list of those entitled to them to the secretary of the U.S.O. yachting committee. I learned two years later that he did not know that his own committee consisted of seven members. It is difficult to understand why, as my name appeared on U.S.O.C. notices. He only recognized the five N.A.Y.R.U. delegates and did not know that I had been appointed a Star delegate over a year before they were eligible. How could things be expected to run smoothly? The man responsible for allocating the work, and there was plenty of it, openly admitted that he disapproved of the Olympics and even told members of the committee that their jobs were really only nominal.

What happened in England is only hearsay and I cannot vouch for its authenticity. No provision had been made for getting Stars from where they were unloaded at London to Torquay. Commercial transportation had to be arranged for and cost plenty. It is said to have cost fifteen dollars to either launch or haul a Star at Torquay. One alternate told me that the only way he could see the races was to buy a ticket on the public observation boat. After the Olympics, over half the Stars had to be shipped to Portugal for the World's Championship. Finally a tramp was diverted to Torquay. I understand that it could have come alongside the dock and loaded the Stars, except possibly at dead low water, but the port authorities would not allow it. So the boats had to be taken by a lighter to where the tramp was anchored, a short distance away. The consensus of opinion was that the tradespeople heaped every expense they could think of upon the rich yachtsmen.

Do not think that I am criticizing the local yachting organizations. Remember that there was a lot of discussion as to whether England was in a position to hold the games that year. I believe that the local yachtsmen did all they were able to do under existing conditions. Even in our own World's Championships some localities are able to provide better and cheaper facilities than others.

The 1952 Olympics, after a wait of twelve years, were held at Helsinki, Finland. The yachting was on more or less protected waters. The start was about four miles from the harbor, where excellent facilities were provided. The yachtsmen were housed in clubs on small islands near the mainland. They were divided according to nationality, not classes, hence the Star members did not see too much of each other. The point and throw out system was the same as in 1948. Everyone agreed that the races were most efficiently conducted.

The Star course would have been over the same triangle as the one for the one man monotypes, had it not been for Jean Peytel's strenuous objection. As instructions had already been printed, the only thing that could be done was to send the Stars over the next larger triangle, a total of about thirteen and one-quarter miles. It was longer than the regular Star championship course, but a great improvement over the wild scramble of 1948. As a result of the longer course there were no disqualifications. There were no dismastings and only five did not finish, although there were twenty-one entries - a new Olympic record for a class bringing its own boats.

The U.S. finals were sailed on the Great South Bay, with the Bay Shore Y.C. sponsoring the event and the Bayberry Point Y.C. providing the anchorage. Owing to the early shipping date, comparatively few clubs were as yet in commission and we only had just enough powerboats to handle the marks. Shoal water eliminated the help of the Coast Guard and its telephones. Establishing reasonably accurate courses and starting on time was not easy. I know, as I was chairman of the special R.C., but weather conditions were good.

The series quickly developed into a duel between the two Florida entries. Jack Price and Jack Reid, of the Biscayne Bay fleet, won by four points. Jim Schoonmaker was runnerup and became alternate skipper. To avoid misunderstanding, he also lives in Miami, but belongs to the Nassau Star fleet. Nye, Ulmer and Smart followed in the order named. Paul Smart, however, finished ahead of anyone else seeking a substitute berth and became alternate crew. Thus the U.S. was fortified with a second string Star combination at Helsinki that was almost as good as its first.

Commanders Straulino and Rode, of the Italian navy won an impressive Olympic victory. They would have won under any point system the writer has ever heard of, never bringing Merope in worse than second in any of their seven starts. Agostino Straulino deserved to win. He was finally able to shake off the ill luck that pursued him for years and his tendency to take rash chances. As a result, he won the three major Star championships held in Europe in 1952.

Price and Reid came nearer winning than most people realize. Had Jack been able to place on the final day, regardless of Straulino winning, he could have thrown out Comanche's seventh and won the series. That sort of thing can happen under the premium point and throw out system. At that the Italian and U.S. entries finished with over two thousand points more than anyone else.
It is interesting to note that of the first five entries to place, Price was the only newcomer to the Olympics. Fiuza and de Cardenas, a Star veteran of twenty-seven years, placed third and fourth respectively. Knowles was fifth and gave the Bahamas their first Olympic points, as the Bahamas only recently had been granted recognition as a separate nation.

An eyewitness reported a twenty mile wind in the first and third race, with fair seas and whitecaps. The other races were sailed in from medium to light weather. It is also reported that the final race was started in no more than a five mile zephyr. The light going may have somewhat cramped Price's style, as he was never an outstanding drifter. My own feeling, however, is that Straulino was finally hitting on all fours in 1952 and that no one could have beaten him. In the second race, Straulino sailed through all seventeen Dragons and all except five of the 5.5's, which classes started ten and twenty minutes, respectively, ahead of the Stars.
I have only spoken with three Star members who were at Helsinki and cannot add much in the way of sideline gossip. Charlie de Cardenas seemed to be more impressed with the fact that women masseurs were in attendance at the steam baths, which he took, than anything else. fPerhaps this will add a splash of color to an otherwise rather drab routine account.


Merrick
**

Mar 6, 2007, 5:50 PM

Post #12 of 13 (30092 views)
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Finn [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

 In 1956 Olympics were assigned to Melbourne, Australia. Elvstrom slaughtered the opposition, this time with five wins in his score - a fantastic feat! Going into the last race it looked as though the American John Marvin, who had never raced a Finn before, might topple the clever and the outstanding Belgian Andre Nelis since they were level on points at 2nd. But Nelis pulled out all the stops and kept Marvin covered whilst notching up a second place himself.

http://www.classefinn.it/finnatics/eng/hisfinn21_1.html


GER70
*

Dec 27, 2011, 11:20 PM

Post #13 of 13 (28543 views)
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Re: [Merrick] 1968 [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Good morning,
Does anyone have a detailed listing of all entry boats in the 1968 Newport Olympic trials in the 5.5m Class, stating sailnumbers and helmsmen?
Also, of interest: The info about the 1960 US-trials and the 1964 US-trials in 5.5m.
Thank you and kind regards,
GER70


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