Sailing at the 1996 Summer Olympics

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at the Games of the XXVI Olympiad
DatesFirst race: 22 July 1996 (1996-07-22)
Last race: 2 August 1996 (1996-08-02)
Competitors458 from 78 nations
← 1992
2000 →

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


Day Marina
Coordinates: 31°56′01″N 80°56′59″W / 31.93361°N 80.94972°W / 31.93361; -80.94972

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

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

  • Satellite Olympic Village in Savannah
  • Olympic marina on Wilmington Island. The Stars and Solings, were towed between the Olympic marina and their race areas.
  • Day marina, a temporary barge system (14,000 m2) near the north side of Wassaw Sound at the mouth of the Wilmington River. The day marina was used as a forward launch area for the dinghies and windsurf boards.
Black = Marina's
Blue = Alpha course
Green = Bravo course
Yellow = Charly course
Red = Delta course

Separate course areas were used for the following pairs of classes:

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



Continents Countries Classes Boats Male Female
6 78 10 312 358 100


  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Oceania
  • Europe
  • Americas


Countries that participated in the Sailing event of the 1996 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
 Netherlands Antilles (AHO)  Andorra (AND)  Antigua and Barbuda (ANT)
 Argentina (ARG)  American Samoa (ASA)  Australia (AUS)
 Austria (AUT)  Bahamas (BAH)  Barbados (BAR)
 Belgium (BEL)  Bermuda (BER)  Belarus (BLR)
 Brazil (BRA)  Bahrain (BRN)  Canada (CAN)
 Cayman Islands (CAY)  Chile (CHI)  China (CHN)
 Cook Islands (COK)  Croatia (CRO)  Cuba (CUB)
 Cyprus (CYP)  Czech Republic (CZE)  Denmark (DEN)
 Djibouti (DJI)  Ecuador (ECU)  Spain (ESP)
 Estonia (EST)  Fiji (FIJ)  Finland (FIN)
 France (FRA)  Great Britain (GBR)  Georgia (GEO)
 Germany (GER)  Greece (GRE)  Guatemala (GUA)
 Guam (GUM)  Hong Kong (HKG)  Hungary (HUN)
 Indonesia (INA)  Ireland (IRL)  Israel (ISR)
 Virgin Islands (ISV)  Italy (ITA)  British Virgin Islands (IVB)
 Jamaica (JAM)  Japan (JPN)  South Korea (KOR)
 Latvia (LAT)  Saint Lucia (LCA)  Malaysia (MAS)
 Mexico (MEX)  Malta (MLT)  Netherlands (NED)
 Norway (NOR)  New Zealand (NZL)  Paraguay (PAR)
 Poland (POL)  Portugal (POR)  Puerto Rico (PUR)
 Qatar (QAT)  Romania (ROM)  South Africa (RSA)
 Russia (RUS)  Seychelles (SEY)  Singapore (SIN)
 Slovenia (SLO)  San Marino (SMR)  Switzerland (SUI)
 Slovakia (SVK)  Sweden (SWE)  Thailand (THA)
 Chinese Taipei (TPE)  Turkey (TUR)  Ukraine (UKR)
 Uruguay (URU)  United States (USA)  Venezuela (VEN)

Classes (equipment)[edit]

Class Type Event Sailors Trapeze Mainsail Jibb/Genoa Spinnaker First OG Olympics so far
Mistral One Design Class Surfboard 1 0 + 1996 1
Mistral One Design Class Surfboard 1 0 + 1996 1
Europe Dinghy 1 0 + 1992 2
Laser Dinghy 1 0 + 1996 1
Finn Dinghy 1 0 + 1952 12
470 Dinghy 2 1 + + + 1988 3
470 Dinghy 2 1 + + + 1976 6
Tornado Multihull 2 1 + + 1976 6
Star Keelboat 2 0 + + 1932 14
Soling Keelboat 3 0 + + + 1972 7

Medal summary[edit]

Women's events[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze

1996: Women's Mistral One Design

 Hong Kong (HKG)
Lee Lai-shan
 New Zealand (NZL)
Barbara Kendall
 Italy (ITA)
Alessandra Sensini

1996: Europe

 Denmark (DEN)
Kristine Roug
 Netherlands (NED)
Margriet Matthijsse
 United States (USA)
Courtenay Becker-Dey

1996: Women's 470

 Spain (ESP)
Theresa Zabell
Begoña Vía Dufresne
 Japan (JPN)
Yumiko Shige
Alicia Kinoshita
 Ukraine (UKR)
Ruslana Taran
Olena Pakholchik

Men's events[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze

1996: Men's Mistral One Design

 Greece (GRE)
Nikolaos Kaklamanakis
 Argentina (ARG)
Carlos Espinola
 Israel (ISR)
Gal Fridman

1996: Finn

 Poland (POL)
Mateusz Kusznierewicz
 Belgium (BEL)
Sébastien Godefroid
 Netherlands (NED)
Roy Heiner

1996: Men's 470

 Ukraine (UKR)
Yevhen Braslavets
Ihor Matviyenko
 Great Britain (GBR)
John Merricks
Ian Walker
 Portugal (POR)
Victor Rocha
Nuno Barreto

Open events[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze

1996: Laser

 Brazil (BRA)
Robert Scheidt
 Great Britain (GBR)
Ben Ainslie
 Norway (NOR)
Peer Moberg

1996: Tornado

 Spain (ESP)
Fernando León
José Luis Ballester
 Australia (AUS)
Mitch Booth
Andrew Landenberger
 Brazil (BRA)
Lars Grael
Henrique Pellicano

1996: Star

 Brazil (BRA)
Torben Grael
Marcelo Ferreira
 Sweden (SWE)
Hans Wallén
Bobby Lohse
 Australia (AUS)
Colin Beashel
David Giles

1996: Soling

 Germany (GER)
Jochen Schümann
Thomas Flach
Bernd Jäkel
 Russia (RUS)
Georgy Shayduko
Dmitri Shabanov
Igor Skalin
 United States (USA)
Jeff Madrigali
Jim Barton
Kent Massey

Medal table[edit]

1 Brazil (BRA)2013
2 Spain (ESP)2002
3 Ukraine (UKR)1012
4 Denmark (DEN)1001
 Germany (GER)1001
 Greece (GRE)1001
 Hong Kong (HKG)1001
 Poland (POL)1001
9 Great Britain (GBR)0202
10 Australia (AUS)0112
 Netherlands (NED)0112
12 Argentina (ARG)0101
 Belgium (BEL)0101
 Japan (JPN)0101
 New Zealand (NZL)0101
 Russia (RUS)0101
 Sweden (SWE)0101
18 United States (USA)0022
19 Israel (ISR)0011
 Italy (ITA)0011
 Norway (NOR)0011
 Portugal (POR)0011
Totals (22 entries)10101030



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


Hurricane Bertha
  • The Olympic sailing facility at Savannah was before the opening of the Olympic Games (10 July) within the Hurricane Bertha warning area. Tornados, Stars and Solings were moved to the Sheraton facility. The Day Marina and the Sheraton were evacuated; the evacuation was complete by 6 PM.

Weather conditions[edit]

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

  • In the morning a light breeze from the west to the Northwest at about 5 knots
  • The winds diminish in the late mornings
  • By midday, the sea breeze circulation begins. When the sea breeze does rise, the winds backs to the south and Southeast
  • Wind speed in the afternoon average between 7 and 12 knots

Olympic weather reports were provided by the National Weather Service from the locations Atlanta and Savannah. Doppler weather radar was used from Charleston, South Carolina. From Jacksonville, Florida the weather above the offshore courses was observed.


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


  1. ^ "Sailing at the 1996 Summer Olympics". Olympedia. Retrieved 24 June 2020.