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2 May 2012, 11:39 am
Retracing Roots - Mexico 1968 Olympic Sailing Competition
1968 Olympic Games Poster
1968 Olympic Games Poster

Mexico 1968 Olympic Sailing Competition
Acapulco, Mexico

On Saturday, October 12, the Olympic Flame arrived in Acapulco, Mexico where the sailing facilities had been transformed by new construction over the past two years into truly Olympic proportions.
For the 5,000 plus athletes in Mexico City, they had to contend with the altitude. No such case for the sailors who instead had to deal with the humidity and counter swell and waves, created by offshore storms, crashing and rebounding into the coast. And for added difficulty, the waves weren't always aligned with the wind.

Forty-one nations had sent 247 yachtsmen to the regatta, and on Monday the races began. A week later, thirty-three men received their honours at a twilight awards ceremony under tropical palm trees.

With two gold medals in the Dragon and Star class the American team finished at the top of the sailing medal table with Great Britain narrowly behind finishing on one gold and one bronze.

View full results from the Games on the ISAF website here.

Even Though The Sound Of It Is Something Quite Atrocious

The wonderfully named British Flying Dutchman, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (pictured right), was far from an atrocious performer at Mexico 1968 as Rodney Pattisson and Iain Macdonald-Smith had more than a spoonful of sugar on their way to Flying Dutchman gold.

Despite a DSQ in Race 1 the pair blew the field away with five race wins and a second place finish. The pair not only won five races, but the manner in which they did so was dominant taking the bullet by over two minutes in many cases.

Mankin's Run Begins

Sovier sailor Valentin Mankin made his Olympic debut in Mexico and burst onto the scene in fine fashion claiming his first Olympic gold medal in the Finn. On his way to a victory margin of 41.7 points over Hubert Raudaschl (AUT) Mankin won three races to comprehensively seal the deal. (Image below Mankin sails the right way to his third victory).

Mankin went on to become one of the most successful Olympic sailors going on to win a further two gold medals as well as a silver.

The Future

As it had done in the 1936 Olympic Games, Kiel hosted the 1972 edition with a complete regatta site. The classes grew from five to six as the Soling made its Olympic debut.

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