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Sailing at the 1900 Summer Olympics

Sailing
at the Games of the II Olympiad
An impression of yacht racing (1867) by Monet
North of Le Havre
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Venues ● Meulan
● Le Havre
Dates First race: 20 May 1900 (1900-05-20)
(Meulan)
Last race: 27 May 1900 (1900-05-27)
First race: 1 August 1900 (1900-08-01)
(Le Havre)
Last race: 5 August 1900 (1900-08-05)
Sailors about 150
(including 1 woman) from 6 countries
Boats 64
Top ranked countries
France: 1st  2nd  10 3rd  
Great Britain: 1st  2nd  3rd  
Mixed team: 1st  2nd  3rd  

Sailing/Yachting is an Olympic sport starting from the Games of the first Olympiad (1896 Olympics) in Athens. With the exception of 1904 and possible 1916 sailing was always a part of the Olympic program. The sailing program in 1900 consisted of a total of eight sailing classes. For six classes, the races were scheduled from 20 – 27 May at the river Seine around Meulan, and a series of three races was held for the largest classes from 1 – 5 August on the North Atlantic off the coast of Le Havre.

Contents

  • Sailing venue of the Games of the Second Olympiad (1900) 1
    • Meulan 1.1
    • Le Havre 1.2
    • Course areas 1.3
  • Competition 2
    • Overview 2.1
    • Continents 2.2
    • Countries 2.3
    • Classes (equipment) 2.4
  • Race schedule 3
  • Medal summary 4
  • Medal table 1896 – 1900 5
  • Notes 6
  • Other information 7
  • Further reading 8
  • References 9

Sailing venue of the Games of the Second Olympiad (1900)

During the early years of the Olympic movement there were no strict rules for the assignment of venues. For the Olympic sailing in 1900 the organizers decided to combine the Olympic sailing for the smaller yachts with the regattas of the Exposition Universelle on the river Seine near Meulan. For the larger yachts an Olympic regatta was held at Le Havre.

Meulan

During the Olympic regattas of the Exposition Universelle of 1900 there were more than 100 yachts racing from Paris, Rouen, Cannes, Nantes and Arcachon and yachts from England, Germany, the United States and Holland. The Bassin Olympique was the river Seine near the Cercle de la Voile de Paris that served as the Olympic harbor.

The race conditions at Meulan during the Olympic regatta were not ideal. A light breeze could hardly make the sailing interesting. Since the river Seine mainly runs from east to west, the light north-easterly breeze was partly blocked by buildings or trees on the river bank, thus heavily influencing the regatta.

Cercle de la Voile de Paris
Bassin Olympique
de Meulan Les Mureaux
General information
Status Complete
Type Club House
Address 30, quai Albert Glandaz
Town or city 78130 Les Mureaux
Country  France
Coordinates
Elevation Sealevel
Owner Cercle de la Voile de Paris

Le Havre

During the second part of the Olympic regatta the Atlantic Ocean was used for the races of the 10 – 20 ton and the 20+ ton yachts. The conditions during the regatta were so good that the 10 – 20 Ton class was able to sail the complete 22 nautical mile triangular course. The premises of the Société des Régates du Havre were used as Olympic harbor.

La Société des Régates du Havre
Le Havre

Burgee of the Société des Régates du Havre
General information
Status Destroyed
Type Club House
Country  France
Coordinates
Elevation Sealevel
Owner La Société des Régates du Havre

Course areas

Since there were two venues there were two course areas. One the river Seine near Meulan. Here the organization could set courses of 8, 15 and 19 kilometres (4.3, 8.1 and 10.3 nmi). The other course area was on the North Atlantic off the coats of Le Havre. Here courses could be set up to 40 nautical miles (74 km).

1900 Olympic Course Areas

Competition

Overview

Continents Countries Classes Entries Male Female
2 6 8 64[1] about 150[1] 1 [2]

Continents

Map of Participating Sailing Continents at the 1900 Summer Olympics
Green = Participating for the first time
Blue = Participating
Light Blue = Have previously participated
● Europe
● North America

Countries

Map of Participating Sailing Countries at the 1900 Summer Olympics
Green = Participating for the first time
Blue = Participating
Light Blue = Have previously participated
 France (FRA)  Germany (GER)  Great Britain (GBR)  Netherlands (NED)
 Switzerland (SUI)  United States (USA)  Mixed team (ZZX)[3]

Classes (equipment)

Sailing during the turn of the century was not so well defined as it became later during the 20th century. Racing rules were mostly defined by local yacht clubs or in some cases by a National Yachting Federation. Also, boats were not standardized to what is now called One Design or One Builder classes. Therefore many handicap systems or systems that put yachts into different categories were used. In 1892 Auguste Godinet developed a formula that placed different boats in different Ton categories. This rule was adopted by the Union des yachts français and later by several other National Yachting Federations like the Société Nautique de Genève. For the sailing at the 1900 Olympics this rule was chosen to determine the tonnage of a yacht.

For the smallest class, 0 – ½ Ton, among others, Lark's were used. These Larks, copies of the Davis Lark and of the Sorceress designed by Linton Hope, became famous one-designs in France Monotype de Chatou at the beginning of the 20th century.

The Olympics were open for the following classes:
 
Class Type Venue Event Sailors First OG Olympics so far
0 – ½ Ton Undefined Meulan Unknown 1900 1
½ – 1 Ton Undefined Meulan Unknown 1900 1
1 – 2 Ton Undefined Meulan Unknown 1900 1
2 – 3 Ton Undefined Meulan Unknown 1900 1
3 – 10 Ton Undefined Meulan Unknown 1900 1
Open Class Undefined Meulan Unknown 1900 1
10 – 20 Ton Undefined Le Havre Unknown 1900 1
20+ Ton Undefined Le Havre Unknown 1900 1
Legend: = Mixed gender event
Inshore classes (Meulan)
Lark
0 – 0.5 Ton 
Sidi-Fekkar
0.5 - 1 Ton 
Lerina
1 – 2 Ton 
Phoebus
2 – 3 Ton 
Turquoise
3 – 10 Ton 
Offshore classes (Le Havre)
Laurea
10 – 20 Ton 
Colombine
20+ Ton 

Race schedule

 ●  Meulan competition  ●  Le Havre competition
1900 May August
20
Sun
21
Mon
22
Tue
23
Wed
24
Thu
25
Fri
26
Sat
27
Thu
1
Fri
2
Sat
3
Sun
4
Mon
5
Tue
6
Wed
Sailing 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 No
wind
1 1 1 1
Total gold medals 1 3 3 4 1 1

Medal summary

However the results of the individual races are quite clear there is not much consensus on what race was part of the Olympics and who where considered as medalists. if we look at the main sources of information on this, The official report,[4] International Olympic Committee (IOC),[5] International Sailing Federation (ISAF)[6] and Sports Reference[7] we find discrepancies. As we look, for example, to the results of the 3 – 10 Ton races we find the following reports on the medalists:
Report Race Gold Silver Bronze
The official report[4] Race 1 Henri Gilardoni (FRA) Henri Smulders (NED) Maurice Gufflet (FRA)
Race 2 Howard Taylor (GBR) Maurice Gufflet (FRA) H. MacHenry (FRA)
IOC[5] Race 2 Howard Taylor (GBR) Maurice Gufflet (FRA) H. MacHenry (FRA)
ISAF[6] Race 2 Howard Taylor (GBR) Maurice Gufflet (FRA) H. MacHenry (FRA)
Sports Reference[7] Race 1 Henri Gilardoni (FRA) Henri Smulders (NED) Maurice Gufflet (FRA)
Race 2 Howard Taylor (GBR) Maurice Gufflet (FRA) H. MacHenry (USA)
Note: Even the nationality of H. MacHenry varies per source!

In all classes at Meulan, with exception of the Open class, there were two distinct "finals" Boats were assigned time handicaps according to their weight within each class and cash prizes were handed out to the winners of each race. The IOC initially recognized the winner of the first race in each class as Olympic champion except in the case of the 10 – 20 ton class, which was decided on aggregate time over three races. However currently the participants of both first and second races in three classes (0 – 0.5t, 1 – 2t and 2 – 3t) are present in the IOC database[8] as medalists. So the second races in these three classes had been recognized by the IOC, and for each of these 3 events two gold, two silver and two bronze medals were retrospectively awarded by the IOC. This however does not explain why in the 3 – 10 Ton race 2 is awarded with Olympic medals and not race 1.

Therefor, in order to be complete and leave the final conclusions to others, we here note all races and medalists of the regattas of the Games of the second Olympiad as well as of the Exposition Universelle and count all winners as medalist.

Event Gold Silver Bronze

1900: Open class

 Great Britain (GBR)
Lorne Currie
John Gretton
Linton Hope
Algernon Maudslay
 Germany (GER)
Paul Wiesner
Georg Naue
Heinrich Peters
Ottokar Weise
 France (FRA)
Émile Michelet

1900: 0 to .5 ton
Race: 1

 France (FRA)
Pierre Gervais
 France (FRA)
Texier (helmsman)
Texier (crew)
Jean-Baptiste Charcot
Robert Linzeler
 France (FRA)
Henri Monnot
Léon Tellier
Gaston Cailleux

1900: 0 to .5 ton
Race: 2

 France (FRA)
Émile Sacré
 France (FRA)
Texier (helmsman)
Texier (crew)
Jean-Baptiste Charcot
Robert Linzeler
 France (FRA)
Pierre Gervais

1900: .5 to 1 ton
Race: 1

 Great Britain (GBR)
Lorne Currie
John Gretton
Linton Hope
Algernon Maudslay
 France (FRA)
Jules Valton
Félix Marcotte
William Martin
Jacques Baudrier
Jean Le Bret
 France (FRA)
Émile Michelet
Marcel Meran

1900: .5 to 1 ton
Race: 2

 France (FRA)
Louis Auguste-Dormeuil
 France (FRA)
Émile Michelet
Marcel Meran
 France (FRA)
Jules Valton
Félix Marcotte
William Martin
Jacques Baudrier
Jean Le Bret

1900: 1 to 2 ton
Race: 1

 Switzerland (SUI)
Hermann de Pourtalès
Hélène de Pourtalès
Bernard de Pourtalès
 France (FRA)
François Vilamitjana
Auguste Albert
Albert Duval
Charles Hugo
 France (FRA)
Jacques Baudrier
Lucien Baudrier
Dubosq
Édouard Mantois

1900: 1 to 2 ton
Race: 2

 Germany (GER)
Paul Wiesner
Georg Naue
Heinrich Peters
Ottokar Weise
 Switzerland (SUI)
Hermann de Pourtalès
Hélène de Pourtalès
Bernard de Pourtalès
 France (FRA)
François Vilamitjana
Auguste Albert
Albert Duval
Charles Hugo

1900: 2 to 3 ton
Race: 1

 Mixed team (ZZX)
William Exshaw
Frédéric Blanchy
Jacques Le Lavasseur
 France (FRA)
Léon Susse
Jacques Doucet
Auguste Godinet
Henri Mialaret
 France (FRA)
Ferdinand Schlatter
de Cottignon
Émile Jean-Fontaine

1900: 2 to 3 ton
Race: 2

 Mixed team (ZZX)
William Exshaw
Frédéric Blanchy
Jacques Le Lavasseur
 France (FRA)
Léon Susse
Jacques Doucet
Auguste Godinet
Henri Mialaret
 France (FRA)
Auguste Donny

1900: 3 to 10 ton
Race: 1

 France (FRA)
Henri Gilardoni
 Netherlands (NED)
Henri Smulders
Chris Hooykaas
Arie van der Velden
 France (FRA)
Maurice Gufflet
A. Dubois
J. Dubois
Robert Gufflet
Charles Guiraist

1900: 3 to 10 ton
Race: 2

 Great Britain (GBR)
Howard Taylor
Edward Hore
Harry Jefferson
 France (FRA)
Maurice Gufflet
A. Dubois
J. Dubois
Robert Gufflet
Charles Guiraist
 United States (USA)
H. MacHenry

1900: 10 to 20 ton

 France (FRA)
Émile Billard
Paul Perquer
 France (FRA)
Jean, duc Decazes
 Great Britain (GBR)
Edward Hore

1900: 20+ ton

 Great Britain (GBR)
Cecil Quentin
 Great Britain (GBR)
Selwin Calverley
 United States (USA)
Harry Van Bergen

Medal table 1896 – 1900

Since the Olympic sailing regatta in 1896 was cancelled due to circumstances the medal table of 1900 is equal to the 1896 – 1900 one:
 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  France (FRA) 5 9 10 24
2  Great Britain (GBR) 4 1 1 6
3  Mixed team (ZZX) 2 0 0 2
4  Switzerland (SUI) 1 1 0 2
 Germany (GER) 1 1 0 2
6  Netherlands (NED) 0 1 0 1
7  United States (USA) 0 0 2 2
Total 7 13 13 13 39

Notes

There was some discussion about the validity of the Olympic status of Sailing at the 1900 Summer Olympics. The following quote states the status quo on this subject:

Given the possible awarding of cash prizes, the “Olympic status” of this sport in 1900 must be in question. It is not exactly certain if the prizes were cash or “objets d’art” of the values listed, thus, for now, I have retained yachting as an Olympic sport in 1900.
— Ian Buchanan (First president of the International Society of Olympic Historians (ISOH), Sports Reference[9]

Other information

During the Sailing regatta's at the 1900 Summer Olympics among others the following persons were competing (or owning yachts) in the various classes:

Further reading

References

  1. ^ a b Numbers of boats and competitors are not reliable. In the official report some figures of the World exhibition and the Olympic Games are mixed.
  2. ^ Hélène de Pourtalès was the only documented woman participated in the 1900 Summer Olympics regatta. She won the a gold medal in the 1 to 2 ton.
  3. ^ Several teams had crews from multiple countries, and in one case, they won a gold medal. This team, of the United Kingdom and France, is currently attributed as the ZZX mixed team.
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ a b Hélène de Pourtalès was the only documented woman participated in the 1900 Summer Olympics regatta. She won the a gold and a silver medal in the 1 to 2 ton.
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^

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