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18 April 2012, 01:01 pm
Retracing Roots - Rome 1960 Olympic Sailing Competition
Rome 1960 Olympic Games Poster
Rome 1960 Olympic Games Poster

1960 Olympic Sailing Competition
Rome, Italy

The Olympic Games returned to Europe in 1960 with Rome, Italy the chosen venue. However the sailing event took place in the south in the Bay of Naples.
The competition took place from 29 August through to 7 September at the Gulf of Naples. Triangular sailing courses were used with the Finn class on the Azzurro Area, Flying Dutchman and Star on Egisto Picchi Area and the Dragon and 5.5 metre on Luigi Mino Poggi area.

With the Olympic Games reaching out to more countries than ever, for the first time since Paris 1900, no country won more than one gold.

With 15 medals up for grabs in the 5.5metre, Dragon, Finn, Flying Dutchmann and Star a total of 11 countries picked up medals. Denmark topped the sailing medal table finishing with one gold - Paul Elvstrom's (DEN) fourth gold medal - and two silvers.

The 5.5 metre was won by American George O'Day, a former Harvard football player who has won the US trials in an Einar Ohlson-designed boat that was later destroyed by a runaway truck. Peder Lunde Jr, from Norway's most famous family, won gold in the newly introduced Flying Dutchman two-man dinghy with Hans Fogh, then sailing for Denmark before his move to Canada, taking the silver.

For full results from 1960 click here.

Elvstrom The Golden Boy

Paul Elvstrom (DEN) became the most successful Olympic sailor of all time in 1960 when he picked up his fourth successive Olympic Gold medal.

The Danish Finn sailors first gold medal came at the young age of 18 at London 1948 in the Firefly before three consecutive gold medals in the Finn class. (Below are images of Elvstrom's Olympic Medal years.)

1960 was to be Elvstrom's last medal, but not his final Olympics as he went on to compete in Mexico 1968, Munich 1972, Los Angeles 1984 and Seoul 1988.

A Prince Makes His Stamp To Become Olympic King

Greece issued a stamp to commemorate Crown Prince Constantine's victory in the Dragons, settled with a fourth in the seventh and final race. It was his country's first-ever yachting medal and, remarkably the 20-year old prince had sailed the class only since February.

His mother, Queen Fredericka, embraced her son at the close of the competition and then playfully pushed him into the water in front of King Paul. Constantine's grandfather had been one of those who worked tirelessly with Pierre de Coubertin to bring the modern Olympics to life.

The Future

Japan was selected to host the first Olympic Games to be held in Asia with participation reaching an all-time high. Sailing was held in Enoshima with 42 nations competing for gold in five Olympic sailing events.

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