Sailing
at the Games of the XVI Olympiad
VenuesPort Phillip Bay
DatesFirst race: 26 November 1956 (1956-11-26)
Last race: 5 December 1956 (1956-12-05)
Competitors154 from 28 nations
Boats71
← 1952
1960 →

Sailing/Yachting is an Olympic sport starting from the Games of the 1st Olympiad (1896 Olympics in Greece. With the exception of 1904 and the canceled 1916 Summer Olympics, sailing has always been included on the Olympic schedule. The Sailing program of 1956 consisted of a total of five sailing classes (disciplines). For each class seven races were scheduled from 26 November to 5 December 1956 at Port Phillip Bay.[1]

The sailing was done on the triangular type Olympic courses. The start was made in the center of a set of 8 numbered marks that were places in a circle. During the starting procedure the sequence of the marks was communicated to the sailors. By picking the mark that was most upwind the start could always be made upwind. This system is, at least in certain German lakes, still in use.

Venue

Port Phillip Bay a natural bay of about 725 square miles (1,900 km2) of water, free of reefs a mere 8 miles (13 km) from the Main Stadium of the Olympics. One can enter the bay from the Southern Ocean a narrow gap of about 3 km. Therefore, the course areas are almost free of tidal streams. However, there is a 0.5 m tidal rise. The winds are ideal for sailing. The predominant southerlies generates light airs in the morning. It freshens in the afternoon to up to 18 knots (33 km/h), and then easing and backing south-east in the evening.

Three circular courses were planned for the northern end of Port Phillip Bay, each using the 1936 system with 8 fixed buoy's with the start in the middle of the circle. At Sandringham for the Finn a course length of approximately 6 nautical miles (11 km) was used. For the 12 square metres and Star the length was set to about 10 nautical miles (19 km). The Dragon and 5.5 Metre were using a course length of 14 nautical miles (26 km).

Competition

Overview

Continents Countries Classes Boats Male Female
5 29 5 71 154 0

Continents

Countries

Countries that participated in the Sailing event of the 1956 Olympic Games.  Blue: Water  Gray: Never participated in OG  Dark Gray: Participated in earlier OG  Green: Country participated for the first time  Dark Blue: Country participated also on previous games  Red: Country boycotted the sailing event of the OG
Countries that participated in the Sailing event of the 1956 Olympic Games.
Blue: Water
Gray: Never participated in OG
Dark Gray: Participated in earlier OG
Green: Country participated for the first time
Dark Blue: Country participated also on previous games
Red: Country boycotted the sailing event of the OG
 Argentina (ARG)  Australia (AUS)  Austria (AUT)
 Bahamas (BAH)  Belgium (BEL)  Bermuda (BER)
 Burma (BIR)  Brazil (BRA)  Canada (CAN)
 Cuba (CUB)  Denmark (DEN)  Fiji (FIJ)
 Finland (FIN)  France (FRA)  Great Britain (GBR)
 United Team of Germany (EUA)  Greece (GRE)  Ireland (IRL)
 Italy (ITA)  Norway (NOR)  New Zealand (NZL)
 Portugal (POR)  South Africa (RSA)  Singapore (SIN)
 Sweden (SWE)  Thailand (THA)  Soviet Union (URS)
 United States (USA)

Classes (equipment)

Class Type Event Sailors Trapeze Mainsail Jib/Genoa Spinnaker First OG Olympics so far
Finn Dinghy
Cercle noir 100%.svg
1 0 + 1952 2
12m2 Sharpie Dinghy
Cercle noir 100%.svg
2 0 + + 1956 1
Star Keelboat
Cercle noir 100%.svg
2 0 + + 1932 5
Dragon Keelboat
Cercle noir 100%.svg
3 0 + + + 1948 3
5.5 Metre Keelboat
Cercle noir 100%.svg
3 0 + + + 1952 2
Legend:
Mars symbol.svg
= Male,
Venus symbol.svg
= Female,
Cercle noir 100%.svg
= Open

Medal summary

Event Gold Silver Bronze
Finn insigna.png

1956: Finn
details

 Denmark (DEN)
Paul Elvstrøm
 Belgium (BEL)
André Nelis
 United States (USA)
John Marvin
12m² Sharpie insigna.png

1956: 12m² Sharpie
details

 New Zealand (NZL)
Peter Mander
Jack Cropp
 Australia (AUS)
Rolland Tasker
John Scott
 Great Britain (GBR)
Jasper Blackall
Terence Smith
NO Class insigna.png

1956: Star
details

 United States (USA)
Herbert Williams
Lawrence Low
 Italy (ITA)
Agostino Straulino
Nicolò Rode
 Bahamas (BAH)
Durward Knowles
Sloane Farrington
Dragon insigna.png

1956: Dragon
details

 Sweden (SWE)
Folke Bohlin
Bengt Palmquist
Leif Wikström
 Denmark (DEN)
Ole Berntsen
Cyril Andresen
Christian von Bülow
 Great Britain (GBR)
Graham Mann
Ronald Backus
Jonathan Janson
5.5 Metre insigna.png

1956: 5.5 Metre
details

 Sweden (SWE)
Lars Thörn
Hjalmar Karlsson
Sture Stork
 Great Britain (GBR)
Robert Perry
David Bowker
John Dillon
Neil Kennedy-Cochran-Patrick
 Australia (AUS)
Jock Sturrock
Douglas Buxton
Devereaux Mytton

Medal table

RankNationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1 Sweden (SWE)2002
2 Denmark (DEN)1102
3 United States (USA)1012
4 New Zealand (NZL)1001
5 Great Britain (GBR)0123
6 Australia (AUS)0112
7 Belgium (BEL)0101
 Italy (ITA)0101
9 Bahamas (BAH)0011
Totals (9 entries)55515

Remarks

Olympic boycott

1956 was the first time in history that several countries decided to boycott the Olympics. The boycott that influenced the sailing the most was probably that of The Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland. They withdrew to protest against the Soviet Union invasion of Hungary during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and Soviet presence at the Games. At that time The Netherlands dominated at the International competition in the 12m2 Sharpie.

Sailing

Sailors

During the sailing regattas at the 1956 Summer Olympics among others the following persons were competing in the various classes:

Notes

  1. ^ "Sailing at the 1956 Summer Olympics". Olympedia. Retrieved 2 June 2020.

References