Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Wassaw Sound, Savannah, Georgia
Date Started: July 24, 1996
Date Finished: August 1, 1996
Format: Points awarded for placement in each race. Best nine of eleven scores to count for final placement.
The British crew of [John Merricks] and [Ian Walker] had recently won the European 470 title and were slight favorites. They would win the silver medal but were no match for the Ukrainian crew of skipper [Yevhen Braslavets] and [Ihor Matviyenko], who had two firsts, two seconds, and a third in the first seven races, and did not have to start the 11th race to win the gold medal. The pair raced together in 470 at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, finishing sixth and ninth, respectively.
In October 1997 Merricks and Walker were passengers in a minivan, which crashed when the driver lost control. Walker survived the crash but Merricks was killed. Walker continued sailing, joining with [Mark Covell], and they won a silver medal in Star at the 2000 Olympics. Walker was also chosen that year to skipper Britain's first America's Cup challenged in 14 years, and in 2008 he was on the crew for an Italian challenger to the America's Cup. Walker raced several times in the Volvo Ocean Races, setting the monohull record of 42 hours, 39 minutes in 2011. Like Walker, Covell lost his original partner in tragic circumstances. In December 1998, his helmsman, Glyn Charles, was swept overboard by a huge wave during a race in the Tasman Sea.