Host City: Montréal, Canada
Venue(s): Olympic Yachting Centre, Portsmouth Harbour, Kingston, Ontario, CAN
Date Started: July 19, 1976
Date Finished: July 28, 1976
Format: Points awarded for placement in each race. Best six of seven scores to count for final placement.
The Tornado was the first multi-hull, or catamaran, class to be raced at the Olympics and was added to the Olympic program in 1976. The boat is a two-person, two-hull catamaran that raced at the Olympics from 1976-2008. The class was designed by Rodney March in 1967 and the boat won IYRU (International Yacht Racing Union) trials to be selected as the Olympic catamaran class. The class had a trapeze which allowed crew members to hook onto the wire and balance on the outside of the hull to keep the boat flatter. In 2000 a second trapeze was added to the design.
Only 14 boats entered this event which was easily won by the British crew of Reg White and John Osborn. They won four of the first six races and did not have to start the final race to win the gold medal. They had been the clear favorites, having won the recent World Championships and five different international regattas within the last year. The American silver medalists, David McFaull and Mike Rothwell, raced out of Hawai’i, where McFaull worked as a disc jockey.