Not held in other Games

Motorboating at the 1908 Summer Olympics

The Olympic motorboat racing was originally scheduled to be held in mid-July but as the dates did not suit the Duke of Westminister or Lord Howard de Walden, they were postponed for more than a month. On the original date, these two influential figures were in America making an unsuccessful challenge for the “British International Cup”.

The Olympic races were held under the auspices of the Motor Yacht Club from their club ship Enchantress in Southampton Water. All races consisted of five laps of a course of approximately eight nautical miles, for a total distance of 40 nautical miles. The competitions were marred by extremely poor weather conditions. In addition to the three Olympic events, there were several handicap events held concurrently at Southampton.

Motorboating never again appeared on the Olympic program and, in fact, it is not even permitted by the Olympic Charter. The current version of the Olympic Charter specifically states, “Sports, disciplines or events in which performance depends essentially on mechanical propulsion are not acceptable.”


Event Status Date Participants NOCs
A-Class (Open), Open Olympic 28 – 29 August 1908 7 2
B-Class (Under 60 Feet), Open Olympic 28 August 1908 5 1
C-Class, Open Olympic 29 August 1908 5 1
14 (13/1) 2 (2/1)


Event Gold Silver Bronze
A-Class (Open), Open CamilleFRA
B-Class (Under 60 Feet), Open GyrinusGBR
C-Class, Open GyrinusGBR

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Great Britain GBR 2 0 0 2
France FRA 1 0 0 1