Sailing at the 1900 Summer Olympics

Sailing/Yachting made its first appearance as an Olympic sport at the 1900 Summer Olympics after competitions were cancelled at the 1896 Olympics. With the exception of 1904, sailing was thereafter 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. Approximately 150 sailors in 64 boats (the numbers of boats and competitors are not reliable, as in the official report some figures of the World exhibition and the Olympic Games are mixed) from 6 nations competed, including 1 woman, Hélène de Pourtalès, who won a gold medal in the 1 to 2 ton.[1]

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
VenuesMeulan
Le Havre
Dates20 May 1900 (1900-05-20) – 27 May 1900 (1900-05-27) (Meulan)
1 August 1900 (1900-08-01) – 5 August 1900 (1900-08-05) (Le Havre)
Competitorsabout 150
(including 1 woman) from 6 nations
Boats64
1908 →

VenuesEdit

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.

MeulanEdit

Cercle de la Voile de Paris
Bassin Olympique
de Meulan Les Mureaux
 
 
Burgee of the Cercle de la Voile de Paris
 
General information
StatusComplete
TypeClub House
Address30, quai Albert Glandaz
Town or city78130 Les Mureaux
Country  France
Coordinates49°00′1″N 1°54′54″E / 49.00028°N 1.91500°E / 49.00028; 1.91500
ElevationSealevel
OwnerCercle de la Voile de Paris

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.

Le HavreEdit

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
 
General information
StatusDestroyed
TypeClub House
Country  France
Coordinates49°29′30″N 0°5′45″E / 49.49167°N 0.09583°E / 49.49167; 0.09583
ElevationSealevel
OwnerLa Société des Régates du Havre

Course areasEdit

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).

1900 Olympic Course Areas
Course area Meulan
Course area Le Havre

Participating nationsEdit

6 nations sent sailors. 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 attributed as a mixed team.

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

Classes (equipment)Edit

Sailing during the turn of the century was not as 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 are 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 such as 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, Larks 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   Unknown 1900 1
½ – 1 Ton Undefined Meulan   Unknown 1900 1
1 – 2 Ton Undefined Meulan   Unknown 1900 1
2 – 3 Ton Undefined Meulan   Unknown 1900 1
3 – 10 Ton Undefined Meulan   Unknown 1900 1
Open Class Undefined Meulan   Unknown 1900 1
10 – 20 Ton Undefined Le Havre   Unknown 1900 1
20+ Ton Undefined Le Havre   Unknown 1900 1
Legend:   = Mixed gender event

Race scheduleEdit

 ●  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 summaryEdit

The results of the individual races are known; however, in the past there has not been consensus on which races were considered "Olympic" and thus who the Olympic medalists were. The Official Report,[2] International Olympic Committee (IOC),[3] International Sailing Federation (ISAF)[4] and Sports Reference[5] present different medalists. The IOC has never decided which events were "Olympic" and which were not.[6] Occasionally, sources differ on the nationality of competitors (such as H. MacHenry, alternately listed as French or American). For example, the medalists in the 3 – 10 Ton races are shown in the various sources as:

Report Race Gold Silver Bronze
Official Report[2] Race 1 Henri Gilardoni (FRA) Henri Smulders (NED) Maurice Gufflet (FRA)
Race 2 Howard Taylor (GBR) Maurice Gufflet (FRA) H. MacHenry (FRA)
IOC[3] and ISAF[4] Race 2 Howard Taylor (GBR) Maurice Gufflet (FRA) H. MacHenry (FRA)
Sports Reference[5] Race 1 Henri Gilardoni (FRA) Henri Smulders (NED) Maurice Gufflet (FRA)
Race 2 Howard Taylor (GBR) Maurice Gufflet (FRA) H. MacHenry (USA)

In all classes at Meulan except the Open class, there were two distinct "finals." Boats were assigned time handicaps according to their weight within each class and 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[7] as medalists. That is, the second race in each of these three classes is recognized by the IOC and for each of these events two gold, two silver, and two bronze medals were retrospectively awarded by the IOC. In the 3 – 10 Ton race, however, only the second race winners are listed with Olympic medals.

The data below notes all races and medalists of the regattas of the Games of the second Olympiad, as well as of the Exposition Universelle and counts all winners as medalists, because the IOC website currently affirms a total of 95 medal events in the Games.[8]

Event Gold Silver Bronze
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
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
0 to .5 ton
Race 2
details[a]
  France (FRA)
Émile Sacré
  France (FRA)
Texier (helmsman)
Texier (crew)
Jean-Baptiste Charcot
Robert Linzeler
  France (FRA)
Pierre Gervais
.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
.5 to 1 ton
Race 2
details[b]
  France (FRA)
Louis Auguste-Dormeuil
  France (FRA)
Émile Michelet
Marcel Meran
  France (FRA)
Jules Valton
Félix Marcotte
William Martin
Jacques Baudrier
Jean Le Bret
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
Lucien Baudrier
Dubosq
Édouard Mantois
1 to 2 ton
Race 2
details[a]
  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
2 to 3 ton
Race 1
details
  Mixed team (ZZX)
  William Exshaw (GBR)
  Frédéric Blanchy (FRA)
  Jacques Le Lavasseur (FRA)
  France (FRA)
Léon Susse
Jacques Doucet
Auguste Godinet
Henri Mialaret
  France (FRA)
Ferdinand Schlatter
de Cottignon
Émile Jean-Fontaine
2 to 3 ton
Race 2
details[a]
  Mixed team (ZZX)
  William Exshaw (GBR)
  Frédéric Blanchy (FRA)
  Jacques Le Lavasseur (FRA)
  France (FRA)
Léon Susse
Jacques Doucet
Auguste Godinet
Henri Mialaret
  France (FRA)
Auguste Donny
3 to 10 ton
Race 1
details[b]
  France (FRA)
Henri Gilardoni
  Netherlands (NED)
Henri Smulders
Chris Hooykaas
Arie van der Velden
  France (FRA)
Maurice Gufflet
A. Dubois
J. Dubois
Robert Gufflet
Charles Guiraist
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
10 to 20 ton
details
  France (FRA)
Émile Billard
Paul Perquer
  France (FRA)
Jean, duc Decazes
  Great Britain (GBR)
Edward Hore
20+ ton
details
  Great Britain (GBR)
Cecil Quentin
  Great Britain (GBR)
Selwin Calverley
  United States (USA)
Harry Van Bergen
  1. ^ a b c The second race in this class is also recognized by the IOC. Thus, for this event, two gold, two silver, and two bronze medals were retrospectively awarded.
  2. ^ a b This race in this class is not shown in the IOC database as an Olympic medal event. However, the IOC website currently has affirmed a total of 95 medal events, after accepting, as it appears, the recommendation of Olympic historian Bill Mallon for events that should be considered "Olympic". These additional events include these other two previously uncounted sailing races.[8][9]

Medal tableEdit