Sailing at the 1972 Summer Olympics

Dates 29 August – 8 September 1972
Medal Events 6

For the first time since the 1948 Olympics, the Olympic yachting program was enlarged, this time to six classes, and the program was changed for the first time since 1960. The 5.5-metre class, which had been held since 1952, was eliminated. Two new classes, the Tempest and Soling, were added. There were two three-person keelboats contested, the Dragon and Soling. The Dragon had been on the Olympic Program since 1948 but would be discontinued after the 1972 München Olympics, and replaced by the Soling as the three-person keelboat class.

Weather caused havoc with the schedule, delaying the final races for two days because of fog and very strong winds, and on other days, very mild winds made racing difficulty. Due to inclement weather, the Dragon and Soling only raced six times in 1972, while the other classes all had seven races.

As in 1936, when the Olympics were held in Berlin, the events were contested at Kieler Förde, an inlet on the Baltic Sea, starting at the northern German city of Kiel, and projecting into the Bay of Kiel.

The scoring system was the same as in 1968, which was used through the 1992 Olympics. The system was a modified point-for-place scoring system in each race, with the best six of seven race scores to count towards the final total. To break ties, the total of all seven race scores were used. If a boat did not finish, was disqualified, or did not start a race, it was awarded points equal to the number of boats entered in the event, or the highest score possible.

Ten (10) nations won yachting medals in 1972, with Australia winning two events, and France, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States winning the other events. The United States won the most medals, with three, with six nations winning two medals.


Event Status Date Participants NOCs
One Person Dinghy (Finn), Open Olympic 29 August – 8 September 1972 35 35
Two Person Keelboat (Star), Open Olympic 29 August – 8 September 1972 36 18
Two Person Keelboat (Tempest), Open Olympic 29 August – 8 September 1972 42 21
Three Person Keelboat (Dragon), Open Olympic 29 August – 8 September 1972 70 23
Three Person Keelboat (Soling), Open Olympic 29 August – 8 September 1972 80 26
Two Person Heavyweight Dinghy (Flying Dutchman), Open Olympic 29 August – 8 September 1972 60 29
323 (323/0) 42 (42/0)


Event Gold Silver Bronze
One Person Dinghy, Open Serge MauryFRA Ilias KhatzipavlisGRE Viktor PotapovURS
Two Person Keelboat, Open AustraliaAUS SwedenSWE West GermanyFRG
Two Person Keelboat, Open Soviet UnionURS Great BritainGBR United StatesUSA
Three Person Keelboat, Open AustraliaAUS East GermanyGDR United StatesUSA
Three Person Keelboat, Open United StatesUSA SwedenSWE CanadaCAN
Two Person Heavyweight Dinghy, Open Great BritainGBR FranceFRA West GermanyFRG

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Australia AUS 2 0 0 2
France FRA 1 1 0 2
Great Britain GBR 1 1 0 2
United States USA 1 0 2 3
Soviet Union URS 1 0 1 2
Sweden SWE 0 2 0 2
East Germany GDR 0 1 0 1
Greece GRE 0 1 0 1
West Germany FRG 0 0 2 2
Canada CAN 0 0 1 1