Country of the host city
The Games were now truly international. Among the 69 nations were Ghana and Guatemala and, for the time, the USSR appeared as Soviet era superpower. The sailing took place at Harmaja, not far from Helsinki.
Auspiciously, the Finn singlehander made its debut. With the Olympic-Jolle and Firefly clearly unsatisfactory and with no real one-person dinghy established in Scandinavia, the Finnish Yachting Association held a competition and Rikard Sarby's creation won. A canoe designer, Sarby zipped off a couple of fingertips with an electric saw whilst building his prototype. The Swedish Pricken design was front-runner in the first trials but the Fint, as it was originally called, came through strongly in the second, windy, trials in Sarby's hands.
The Fint became the Finn and Sarby took the bronze in Helsinki behind Briton Charles Currey and Elvstrom. The Dane had built a hiking bench in his Hellerup home, and trained extensively on the water. Though the points method was different then, his score of 8209 to Currey's 5449 and Sarby's 5051 demonstrates the Dane's dominance. The 6-Metre hung on for one last hurrah whilst the International Yacht Racing Union brought in the 5.5-Metre as the formula class. Its first winner was American designer Britton Chance.