Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
Date Started: August 5, 1932
Date Finished: August 8, 1932
Format: Four races. Point system scoring, with yachts scoring one point for finishing a race and one point for each yacht defeated in the race.
The 8-metre class had been on the Olympic Program since 1908 but would only remain an Olympic class at one more Olympics, in 1936. Before World War II 8-metres were the most prestigious international yacht racing class, and they are still actively raced around the world.
The International Rules for the metre classes were written in October 1907. The “8” in the 8-metre class represents the product of a formula, not the length of the boat. The 8-metre boats are usually 15 metres long. The formula uses the values of boat length, beam, waterline length, skin girth and chain girth, freeboard and sail area. The result is a fixed number, which is then referred to as the ship class. The class identifier for the 8 m class was an underlined Eight "8".
There were four races contested in 1932 between two boats, the American Angelita and the Canadian Santa Maria. There was no drama in this event at all as Angelita won all four races and the gold medal with the silver going to the Canadian crew. Six crewmen were on the boats for each race, but American skipper [Owen Churchill] made certain that his 12 crew members alternated in the races so that all received a gold medal.
In 1981 the Angelita was discovered in a boatyard in Santa Cruz. The boat was restored and made the flagship of the 1984 Olympics, with the 88-year-old Churchill again at the helm.