Host City: Montréal, Canada
Venue(s): Olympic Yachting Centre, Portsmouth Harbour, Kingston, Ontario, CAN
Date Started: July 19, 1976
Date Finished: July 27, 1976
Format: Points awarded for placement in each race. Best six of seven scores to count for final placement.
The Tempest class was introduced at the 1972 Olympics, and was only held twice on the Olympic Program, being discontinued after the 1976 Montréal Olympics. As of 2014 it continues to be raced as a Vintage Yachting Class.
The Swedish crew of Ingvar Hansson and John Albrechtson won the gold medal in convincing fashion, winning three races, with two seconds, and a fourth. They had finished fourth in this class in 1972 at Kiel. Silver medalist Valentyn Mankin of the Soviet Union had won this event in 1972 and also won gold in the 1968 Finn Class. He would return in 1980 and win a third gold medal in the Star Class.
The crew of the American bronze medal team was Conn Findlay, who had won two golds and a bronze in rowing at the 1956-64 Olympics. His skipper, Dennis Conner, was likely the most famous sailor in American history. This was his only Olympic appearance, but he won the America’s Cup four times as the skipper, in 1974, 1980, 1987, and 1988, and in 1983 he suffered the ignominy of being the first American skipper to ever lose the America’s Cup, to the Australian yacht Australia II, skippered by former Olympic sailor, John Bertrand.
Britain’s team of Alan Warren and David Hunt had won a silver medal in this event in 1972, aboard Gift ‘Orse. They returned in 1976 on the same boat, but it had been damaged in transit to Kingston and they finished only 14th. After the final race, they set the boat aflame, Warren stating, “She went lame on us, so we decided the poor, old ‘orse should be cremated.” Canadian customs authorities did not take this so lightly, as they had difficulty believing the story about why the boat was not available for inspection.
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