The Official
Website of the
Sailing Federation
14 March 2012, 09:11 am
Retracing Roots - Los Angeles 1932 Olympic Sailing Competition
Los Angeles 1932 Olympic Games Poster
Los Angeles 1932 Olympic Games Poster

Olympic Sailing Competition
Los Angeles, USA

The Olympic Yachting events in 1932 took place in the Pacific Ocean directly off the Port of Los Angeles from 5-12 August.
In post-Depression USA, the Games needed a lot of subsidy and it saw the first Olympic Village built.

The 6- and 8-Metre classes were carried over, but the una-rigged Snowbird replaced the Twelve-Voetsjol as the single-handed dinghy. Supplied by the Americans, all three medals went to Europeans with the gold won by Jacques Lebrun of Belgium. In fact, the American Snowbird competitor, Charles Lyon, was the only one in the US team not to win a medal.

The subsidies were not sufficient to lure Sixes and Eights from Europe, save for Swede Tore Holm who won his second gold in the 6-metre class following his 1920 victory in the 40 Square Metre class. And with only three 6-metre entries all competitors won a medal.

Sign Of Stars

Originally billed as an exhibition event, the Star Class made its Olympic debut in 1932 with seven nations entering boats.

America's Gilbert Gray and Andrew Libano (pictured right) won five races on their way to taking a comprehensive gold medal and marking their place in the Stars Olympic history.

The competition was hard fought with crews battling it out to see their nations colours aloft. "Every trick and manoeuvre known to sailboat racing was used to advance the point score, and all in all the competitions were outstanding in keen and sportsmanlike rivalry." (IOC 1932 Olympic Report)

Full results from the 1932 Olympic Sailing Competition are available here.

Does That Mean Sailing All The Time?

Before the 1932 Olympic Games Pierpont Davis and Owen Churchill fought against each other for the American 8-metre spot. Churchill won the try-outs but graciously included his six crew, and Davis' six crew enabling everyone to sail at least once in the event.

Crew member Richard Fulton Moore was selected by Davis. Moore said, "Pier Davis said to me, "Well kid, we're forming up the team for the 1932 Olympics. Would you like to be on the team?" And I said, "Well, does that mean sailing all the time?" He said, "Yes." So I said, "Well, I don't know anything about the Olympics, but as long as we are going to be sailing and having a lot of fun, you can depend upon me."

With only one other entrant, from Canada, the American team on board Angelita stormed to victory winning all four races as they picked up gold.

What They Said

8-metre gold Medallist John Biby Jr, "We were well primed for what we had to do. In those days, we didn't go into the training that they do today. We had a regular schedule of racing which generally went every other weekend all winter, and close to every weekend all summer." (Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles)

The Future

The 1936 Olympic Games were remembered as 'Hitler's Olympics', but there were many reasons to remember 1936 apart from politics as the Olympics were televised for the first time.

Sailing took place in Kiel with four classes on show as the Germans finished at the top of the sailing medal for the first time.

Share this page
World Sailing TV
Latest News
News Archive
© 2015 Copyright ISAF/ISAF UK Ltd. All Rights Reserved Privacy & Cookies delivered by Sotic powered by OpenText WSM