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25 April 2012, 11:38 am
Retracing Roots - Tokyo 1964 Olympic Sailing Competition
Tokyo 1964 Olympic Poster
Tokyo 1964 Olympic Poster

Tokyo 1964 Olympic Sailing Competition
Tokyo, Japan

At the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games sailing was originally planned to take place at Yokohama, but after it was deemed unsuitable the events were held off the coast of Enoshima Island in Kanagawa Prefecture on the bay of Sagami.
The competition began on 12 October and ran until 23 October and for Enoshima to meet the Olympic requirements a large scale harbour that started in May 1961 was built which was finished ahead of the games in July 1964.

The racDurwood Knowles won his second Star medal for Bahamas, securing the gold despite retiring from one race with a broken mainsail halyard and bettering his 1956 bronze. But the tightest competition was in the 5.5s. In the concluding seventh race no one was sure of the title but AUS, USA, SWE and ITA all could have done.

It boiled down to American J J McNamara and Swede Lars Thorn had a tack for tack duel up the final beat with McNamara making a desperately close attempt to cross Thorn on the final cross. The American foul prompted McNamara to retire. He took the bronze, Thorn the silver and Australian Bill Northam, clear of the fight, the gold.

For full results from the 1964 Olympic Games click here.

Silver And Bronze Rush For American Sailors

American sailors won medals in all five of the classes on show in Tokyo, making for a successful Olympic sailing campaign. However they lacked the cherry on top as they went without a gold medal.

The founder and future president of North Sails, Lowell North and Peter Barrett took bronze in the Dragon and silver in the Finn respectively. This was Barrett's second Games with US Olympic Committee having described him in the official book as a 'non yacht owner' when he placed 11th in the Finn class in 1960.

Highest Qualities Of Sportsmanship

The Swedish Flying Dutchman team of Lars Kall and Stig Kall (pictured centre) were awarded the Tokyo Trophy for their display of the highest qualities of sportsmanship during the Games.

The Swedes rescued the Australian FD, (pictured far right) with Ian Winter on board with the Swedes whilst John Dawe continues to cling on to the upturned boat.

A Legacy Lasting To Today

As well as the infrastructure left behind from the Tokyo Olympics, those who weren't around to watch the Olympics benefit from a national holiday.

The Olympics opened on 10 October, and the day was declared a national holiday that continues every year. Around the same time the Japanese Sailing Federation organising the Enoshima Olympic Week, which is a lasting legacy from the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Sailing competition and attracts sailors from all over Asia.

The Future

For most of the 5,500 competitors at the Mexico 1968 Olympic Games they had to deal with the altitude at Mexico City. No such worries for the sailors down on the coast at Acapulco, but they faced different problems
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