Sailing at the 1900 Summer Olympics

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Sailing
at the Games of the II Olympiad
Regatta at Sainte-Adresse.JPG
An impression of yacht racing (1867) by Monet
North of Le Havre
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Venues ● Meulan
● Le Havre
Dates First race: 20 May 1900 (1900-05-20)
(Meulan)
Last race: 27 May 1900 (1900-05-27)
First race: 1 August 1900 (1900-08-01)
(Le Havre)
Last race: 5 August 1900 (1900-08-05)
Sailors about 150
(including 1 woman) from 6 countries
Boats 64
Top ranked countries
France: 1  2  10 3  
Great Britain: 1  2  3  
Mixed team: 1  2  3  
« 1896 1908 »


Sailing/Yachting is an Olympic sport starting from the Games of the first Olympiad (1896 Olympics) in Athens. With the exception of 1904 and possible 1916 sailing was always a part of the Olympic program. The sailing program in 1900 consisted of a total of eight sailing classes. For six classes, the races were scheduled from 20 – 27 May at the river Seine around Meulan, and a series of three races was held for the largest classes from 1 – 5 August on the North Atlantic off the coast of Le Havre.

Previously on Sailing at the Summer Olympics[edit]

A regatta of sailing boats was on the program of the Games of the First Olympiad for 31 March 1896. However this event had to be given up.

The Official English report states:

The Regatta could not take place because some special boats embarkation had not been provided for.

—Charalambos Annino, The Olympic Games B.C. 776. – A.D. 1896[1]

The German version gives a bit more clues:

Die Wettkämpfe im Segeln wurden vereitelt, da man weder bei uns die besonderen Boote dafür besass, noch fremde Bewerber sich gemeldet hatten.

—same author, same source.

So no boats available from Greece and no foreign entries. Thus that ends the first edition of Sailing at the Summer Olympics!

Sailing venue of the Games of the Second Olympiad (1900)[edit]

During the early years of the Olympic movement there were no strict rules for the assignment of venues. For the Olympic sailing in 1900 the organizers decided to combine the Olympic sailing for the smaller yachts with the regattas of the Exposition Universelle on the river Seine near Meulan. For the larger yachts an Olympic regatta was held at Le Havre.

Meulan[edit]

During the Olympic regattas of the Exposition Universelle of 1900 there were more than 100 yachts racing from Paris, Rouen, Cannes, Nantes and Arcachon and yachts from England, Germany, the United States and Holland. The Bassin Olympique was the river Seine near the Cercle de la Voile de Paris that served as the Olympic harbor.

The race conditions at Meulan during the Olympic regatta were not ideal. A light breeze could hardly make the sailing interesting. Since the river Seine mainly runs from east to west, the light north-easterly breeze was partly blocked by buildings or trees on the river bank, thus heavily influencing the regatta.

Cercle de la Voile de Paris
Bassin Olympique
de Meulan Les Mureaux
Club House de Cercle de la Voile de Paris à Meulan.jpg
Burgee of Cercle de la Voile de Paris.svg
Burgee of the Cercle de la Voile de Paris
General information
Status Complete
Type Club House
Address 30, quai Albert Glandaz
Town or city 78130 Les Mureaux
Country  France
Coordinates 49°00′1″N 1°54′54″E / 49.00028°N 1.91500°E / 49.00028; 1.91500
Elevation Sealevel
Owner Cercle de la Voile de Paris

Le Havre[edit]

During the second part of the Olympic regatta the Atlantic Ocean was used for the races of the 10 – 20 ton and the 20+ ton yachts. The conditions during the regatta were so good that the 10 – 20 Ton class was able to sail the complete 22 nautical mile triangular course. The premises of the Société des Régates du Havre were used as Olympic harbor.

La Société des Régates du Havre
Le Havre
Le Palais de la Société des Régates au Havre.jpg
Burgee Societe des Regates Du Havre.jpg
Burgee of the Société des Régates du Havre
General information
Status Destroyed
Type Club House
Country  France
Coordinates 49°29′30″N 0°5′45″E / 49.49167°N 0.09583°E / 49.49167; 0.09583
Elevation Sealevel
Owner La Société des Régates du Havre

Course areas[edit]

Since there were two venues there were two course areas. One the river Seine near Meulan. Here the organization could set courses of 8, 15 and 19 kilometres (4.3, 8.1 and 10.3 nmi). The other course area was on the North Atlantic off the coats of Le Havre. Here courses could be set up to 40 nautical miles (74 km).

Competition[edit]

Overview[edit]

Continents Countries Classes Boats Male Female
2 6 8 64[2] about 150[2] 1 [3]

Continents[edit]

Map of Participating Sailing Continents at the 1900 Summer Olympics
Blue = Participating for the first time
Green = Have previously participated
● Europe
● North America

Countries[edit]

Map of Participating Sailing Countries at the 1900 Summer Olympics
Blue = Participating for the first time
Green = Have previously participated
 France (FRA)  Germany (GER)  Great Britain (GBR)  Netherlands (NED)
 Switzerland (SUI)  United States (USA)  Mixed team (ZZX)[4]

Classes (equipment)[edit]

Sailing during the turn of the century was not so well defined as it became later during the 20th century. Racing rules were mostly defined by local yacht clubs or in some cases by a National Yachting Federation. Also, boats were not standardized to what is now called One Design or One Builder classes. Therefore many handicap systems or systems that put yachts into different categories were used. In 1892 Auguste Godinet developed a formula that placed different boats in different Ton categories. This rule was adopted by the Union des yachts français and later by several other National Yachting Federations like the Société Nautique de Genève. For the sailing at the 1900 Olympics this rule was chosen to determine the tonnage of a yacht.

For the smallest class, 0 – ½ Ton, among others, Lark's were used. These Larks, copies of the Davis Lark and of the Sorceress designed by Linton Hope, became famous one-designs in France Monotype de Chatou at the beginning of the 20th century.

The Olympics were open for the following classes:

 
Class Type Venue Event Sailors First OG Olympics so far
0 – ½ Ton Undefined Meulan Cercle noir 100%.svg Unknown 1900 1
½ – 1 Ton Undefined Meulan Cercle noir 100%.svg Unknown 1900 1
1 – 2 Ton Undefined Meulan Cercle noir 100%.svg Unknown 1900 1
2 – 3 Ton Undefined Meulan Cercle noir 100%.svg Unknown 1900 1
3 – 10 Ton Undefined Meulan Cercle noir 100%.svg Unknown 1900 1
Open Class Undefined Meulan Cercle noir 100%.svg Unknown 1900 1
10 – 20 Ton Undefined Le Havre Cercle noir 100%.svg Unknown 1900 1
20+ Ton Undefined Le Havre Cercle noir 100%.svg Unknown 1900 1
Legend: Cercle noir 100%.svg = Mixed gender event
Lark
used in the
0 – 0.5 Ton 
Sidi-Fekkar
0.5 - 1 Ton 
Lerina winner of the Gold medal in the
1 – 2 Ton 
Phoebus
3 Ton racer 
Turquoise
10 Ton racer 

Race schedule[edit]

 ●  Meulan competition  ●  Le Havre competition
1900 May August
20
Sun
21
Mon
22
Tue
23
Wed
24
Thu
25
Fri
26
Sat
27
Thu
1
Fri
2
Sat
3
Sun
4
Mon
5
Tue
6
Wed
Sailing 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 No
wind
1 1 1 1
Total gold medals 1 3 3 4 1 1

Medal summary[edit]

However the results of the individual races are quite clear there is not much consensus on what race was part of the Olympics and who where considered as medalists. if we look at the main sources of information on this, The official report,[1] International Olympic Committee (IOC),[5] International Sailing Federation (ISAF)[6] and Sports Reference[7] we find discrepancies. As we look, for example, to the results of the 3 – 10 Ton races we find the following reports on the medalists:

Report Race Gold Silver Bronze
The official report[1] Race 1 Gilardoni (FRA) Henri Smulders (NED) Maurice Gufflet (FRA)
Race 2 Howard Taylor (GBR) Maurice Gufflet (FRA) H. MacHenry (FRA)
IOC[5] Race 2 Howard Taylor (GBR) Maurice Gufflet (FRA) H. MacHenry (FRA)
ISAF[6] Race 2 Howard Taylor (GBR) Maurice Gufflet (FRA) H. MacHenry (FRA)
Sports Reference[7] Race 1 Gilardoni (FRA) Henri Smulders (NED) Maurice Gufflet (FRA)
Race 2 Howard Taylor (GBR) Maurice Gufflet (FRA) H. MacHenry (USA)
Note: Even the nationality of H. MacHenry varies per source!

In all classes at Meulan, with exception of the Open class, there were two distinct "finals" Boats were assigned time handicaps according to their weight within each class and cash prizes were handed out to the winners of each race. The IOC initially recognized the winner of the first race in each class as Olympic champion except in the case of the 10 – 20 ton class, which was decided on aggregate time over three races. However currently the participants of both first and second races in three classes (0 – 0.5t, 1 – 2t and 2 – 3t) are present in the IOC database[8] as medalists. So the second races in these three classes had been recognized by the IOC, and for each of these 3 events two gold, two silver and two bronze medals were retrospectively awarded by the IOC. This however does not explain why in the 3 – 10 Ton race 2 is awarded with Olympic medals and not race 1.

Therefor, in order to be complete and leave the final conclusions to others, we here note all races and medalists of the regattas of the Games of the second Olympiad as well as of the Exposition Universelle and count all winners as medalist.

Event Gold Silver Bronze
NO Class insigna.png

1900: Open class
details

 Great Britain (GBR)
Lorne Currie
John Gretton
Linton Hope
Algernon Maudslay

 Germany (GER)
Paul Wiesner
Georg Naue
Heinrich Peters
Ottokar Weise

 France (FRA)
Émile Michelet

NO Class insigna.png

1900: 0 to .5 ton
Race: 1
details

 France (FRA)
Pierre Gervais

 France (FRA)
Texier (helmsman)
Texier (crew)
Jean-Baptiste Charcot
Robert Linzeler

 France (FRA)
Henri Monnot
Léon Tellier
Gaston Cailleux

NO Class insigna.png

1900: 0 to .5 ton
Race: 2
details

 France (FRA)
Émile Sacré

 France (FRA)
Texier (helmsman)
Texier (crew)
Jean-Baptiste Charcot
Robert Linzeler

 France (FRA)
Pierre Gervais

NO Class insigna.png

1900: .5 to 1 ton
Race: 1
details

 Great Britain (GBR)
Lorne Currie
John Gretton
Linton Hope
Algernon Maudslay

 France (FRA)
Jules Valton
Félix Marcotte
William Martin
Jacques Baudrier
Jean Le Bret

 France (FRA)
Émile Michelet
Marcel Meran

NO Class insigna.png

1900: .5 to 1 ton
Race: 2
details

 France (FRA)
Louis Auguste-Dormeuil

 France (FRA)
Émile Michelet
Marcel Meran

 France (FRA)
Jules Valton
Félix Marcotte
William Martin
Jacques Baudrier
Jean Le Bret

NO Class insigna.png

1900: 1 to 2 ton
Race: 1
details

 Switzerland (SUI)
Hermann de Pourtalès
Hélène de Pourtalès
Bernard de Pourtalès

 France (FRA)
François Vilamitjana
Auguste Albert
Albert Duval
Charles Hugo

 France (FRA)
Jacques Baudrier
Louis-Lucien Baudrier
Dubosq
Édouard Mantois

NO Class insigna.png

1900: 1 to 2 ton
Race: 2
details

 Germany (GER)
Paul Wiesner
Georg Naue
Heinrich Peters
Ottokar Weise

 Switzerland (SUI)
Hermann de Pourtalès
Hélène de Pourtalès
Bernard de Pourtalès

 France (FRA)
François Vilamitjana
Auguste Albert
Albert Duval
Charles Hugo

NO Class insigna.png

1900: 2 to 3 ton
Race: 1
details

 Mixed team (ZZX)
William Exshaw
Frédéric Blanchy
Jacques Le Lavasseur

 France (FRA)
Léon Susse
Jacques Doucet
Godinet
Mialaret

 France (FRA)
Ferdinand Schlatter
de Cottignon
Émile Jean-Fontaine

NO Class insigna.png

1900: 2 to 3 ton
Race: 2
details

 Mixed team (ZZX)
William Exshaw
Frédéric Blanchy
Jacques Le Lavasseur

 France (FRA)
Léon Susse
Jacques Doucet
Godinet
Mialaret

 France (FRA)
Auguste Donny

NO Class insigna.png

1900: 3 to 10 ton
Race: 1
details

 France (FRA)
Gilardoni

 Netherlands (NED)
Henri Smulders
Chris Hooykaas
Arie van der Velden

 France (FRA)
Maurice Gufflet
A. Dubois
J. Dubois
Robert Gufflet
Charles Guiraist

NO Class insigna.png

1900: 3 to 10 ton
Race: 2
details

 Great Britain (GBR)
Howard Taylor
Edward Hore
Harry Jefferson

 France (FRA)
Maurice Gufflet
A. Dubois
J. Dubois
Robert Gufflet
Charles Guiraist

 United States (USA)
H. MacHenry

NO Class insigna.png

1900: 10 to 20 ton
details

 France (FRA)
Émile Billard
Édouard de Rothschild
Paul Perquer

 France (FRA)
Jean, duc Decazes

 Great Britain (GBR)
Edward Hore

NO Class insigna.png

1900: 20+ ton
details

 Great Britain (GBR)
Cecil Quentin

 Great Britain (GBR)
Selwin Calverley

 United States (USA)
Harry Van Bergen

Medal table 1896 – 1900[edit]

Since the Olympic sailing regatta in 1896 was cancelled due to circumstances the medal table of 1900 is equal to the 1896 – 1900 one:

 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  France (FRA) 5 9 10 24
2  Great Britain (GBR) 4 1 1 6
3  Mixed team (ZZX) 2 0 0 2
4  Switzerland (SUI) 1 1 0 2
 Germany (GER) 1 1 0 2
6  Netherlands (NED) 0 1 0 1
7  United States (USA) 0 0 2 2
Total 7 13 13 13 39

Notes[edit]

There was some discussion about the validity of the Olympic status of Sailing at the 1900 Summer Olympics. The following quote states the status quo on this subject:

Given the possible awarding of cash prizes, the “Olympic status” of this sport in 1900 must be in question. It is not exactly certain if the prizes were cash or “objets d’art” of the values listed, thus, for now, I have retained yachting as an Olympic sport in 1900.

Other information[edit]

During the Sailing regatta's at the 1900 Summer Olympics among others the following persons were competing (or owning yachts) in the various classes:

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Exposition Universelle Internationale de 1900, Concours D'Exercices Physiques et de Sports" (in French). Imprimerie Nationale (LA84). 1901. pp. 399–430. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Numbers of boats and competitors are not reliable. In the official report some figures of the World exhibition and the Olympic Games are mixed.
  3. ^ Hélène de Pourtalès was the only documented woman participated in the 1900 Summer Olympics regatta. She won the a gold medal in the 1 to 2 ton.
  4. ^ Several teams had crews from multiple countries, and in one case, they won a gold medal. This team, of the United Kingdom and France, is currently attributed as the ZZX mixed team.
  5. ^ a b Hélène de Pourtalès was the only documented woman participated in the 1900 Summer Olympics regatta. She won the a gold and a silver medal in the 1 to 2 ton.
  6. ^ a b "Fleet racing - Open - 3 - 10 Ton Under the Thames Measurement Rule". International Sailing Federation. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Sports Reference – Sailing at the 1900 Paris Summer Games: Mixed 3-10 Ton". Sports Reference. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "Paris 1900: Sailing". IOC. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "Sailing at the 1900 Paris Summer Games". Sports Reference. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  10. ^ "The Countess de Pourtales – After all the first modern female Olympic starter". International Society of Olympic Historians. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 

"Paris 1900". Olympic.org. International Olympic Committee.