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Rodney Pattisson

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 3
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameRodney Stuart•Pattisson
Used nameRodney•Pattisson
Born5 August 1943 in Campbeltown, Argyll and Bute, Scotland (GBR)
Measurements175 cm / 70 kg
AffiliationsItchenor Sailing Club, Itchenor (GBR)
NOC(s) Great Britain


Rodney Pattisson ranked as Britain’s most successful Olympic yachtsman until he was surpassed by Ben Ainslie in 2008. On each of his three Olympic appearances, he sailed with a different crew but won a medal on each occasion. Pattisson’s first major success came in 1960 when as a 17-year-old he won the world cadet title, with his brother John crewing. In 1968 he won the world and European titles before going on to win an Olympic gold medal with Iain MacDonald-Smith. A second gold followed in 1972 with Christopher Davies as his partner and in 1976 Pattisson took the silver medal with Julian Brooke-Houghton. He was awarded the MBE for his Olympic successes. After his first Olympic victory Pattisson resigned his commission in the Navy and joined a boat building firm in Dorset, which allowed him more time for training than his naval duties had permitted. He consolidated his position as the world’s leading helmsman in the Flying Dutchman class and was the world and European champion from 1968 to 1972. Pattisson built his success on meticulous attention to detail and a dedication to physical fitness; he came closed to making the Olympic team for a fourth time in 1984 in his favorite Flying Dutchman class. Despite his domination of this class, Rodney Pattisson was a versatile sailor and in 1983 was co-skipper of Victory, Peter de Savary’s entry for the America’s Cup.


Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1968 Summer Olympics Sailing Two Person Heavyweight Dinghy, Open Olympic Iain MacDonald-Smith 1 Gold Representing Great Britain    
1972 Summer Olympics Sailing Two Person Heavyweight Dinghy, Open Olympic Christopher Davies 1 Gold Representing Great Britain    
1976 Summer Olympics Sailing Two Person Heavyweight Dinghy, Open Olympic Julian Brooke-Houghton 2 Silver Representing Great Britain    

Other participations

Games Role Details
1976 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony Representing Great Britain