Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Wassaw Sound, Savannah, Georgia
Date Started: July 22, 1996
Date Finished: August 2, 1996
Format: Ten fleet races, best eight of ten scores to count. Top six teams advanced to single-elimination match racing.
Soling was again contested as a series of fleet races, which qualified the boats for head-to-head match races. Ten fleet races qualified six boats for the quarter-finals, with the top two finishers, Germany and the United States, seeded directly into the semi-finals.
In 1988 this class had been won by the East German crew of [Jochen Schümann], [Thomas Flach], and [Bernd Jäkel]. Unusually for a three-person crew, they returned eight years later, now as a German crew, and repeated as gold medalists. They won the fleet racing over the United States and then defeated Great Britain, 3-0, in the semi-finals. In the other semi-final, Russia upset the US boat, 3-0, but Russia was no match for Germany in the final, also losing 3-0. The US defeated Great Britain, 3-1, to earn the bronze medal.
This was the third Olympic gold medal for [Jochen Schümann], after his 1988 Soling gold, and winning the Finn class in 1976. Among Olympic sailors through 2012, only Soviet [Valentyn Mankin] has also won three gold medals, although Denmark’s [Paul Elvstrøm] and Britain’s [Ben Ainslie] stand atop the list with four each.