Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Busan Yachting Center, Busan
Date Started: September 20, 1988
Date Finished: September 27, 1988
Format: Points awarded for placement in each race. Best six of seven scores to count for final placement.
This was the first Olympic sailing event open only to women. The 470 class had been added to the Olympic Program in 1976 and held from 1976-84 as a mixed event, but in 1988 it was split into two events for men and women.
The two favorites were the American and Swedish boats, who had raced six times at recent international championships, with Swedish skipper Marit Söderström defeating the US skipper, Allison Jolly, four times. Through the first four races, Jolly’s boat was by far the best, with two race wins, a second and a third, but they were disqualified in race five, and the Soviet crew of Iryna Chunykhovska and Larysa Moskalenko went ahead. Jolly and Lynne Jewell came back to finish second in race six and re-take the lead, as the Soviets placed eighth. Jolly and Jewell had to start race seven, but only needed to finish 14th or higher to win gold, but in mid-race, their jib wire broke and their jib sail sagged down. Jolly was distraught and thought she had lost the gold medal, but Jewell was able to repair the jib sail with some spare nylon rope. They sailed on, finished ninth in the final race, and won the first gold medal in women’s Olympic sailing.