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Sailing at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games

1952 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: Helsinki, Finland
Date Started: July 20, 1952
Date Finished: July 28, 1952
Events: 5

Participants: 227 (224 men and 3 women) from 29 countries
Youngest Participant: USA William Horton, Jr. (13 years, 57 days)
Oldest Participant: SWE Sven Salén (61 years, 255 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 44 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): 3 countries with 3 medals


There were again five yachting events, as in 1948, but the classes were changed somewhat. The Star, Dragon, and 6-metre classes were contested again, with the 5.5 metre class added to the Olympic Program. The monotype was raced in the Finn class for the first time, but this would become the standard monotype class at the Olympics for mixed and men’s classes, at least through 2012. All events in 1952 were mixed, as they would remain through 1980. The scoring system was the same as in 1948, and would remain standard through 1964. Points were awarded in each race based on placement in the race and the number of boats racing. The worst of a boat’s seven scores were eliminated, thus using the best six of seven scores for the final total.

Unusually there were two sites for 1952 yachting, with the Finn class raced off Liuskasaari, an island south of Helsinki, and the home of Helsingfors Segelsällskap, the second oldest sailing club in Finland. The other four events were held off the coast of Harmaja, an island outside of Helsinki, just south of the Suomenlinna sea fortress.

Nine nations won medals in 1952, with four nations winning the five events. The United States won two gold medals, and three medals in all, with Norway and Sweden also winning three medals.