| Event type

5.5 metres, Open

Date20 – 28 July 1952
LocationHarmaja, Helsinki
Participants50 from 16 countries
FormatPoints awarded for placement in each race. Best six of seven scores to count for final placement.

The 5.5-metre class is a three-person keelboat, which was designed to be similar to the 6-metre class, but was much smaller and less expensive. The boat’s design is related to a formula involving its length, displacement, and sail area, requiring that the formula be equal to 5.500 metres or less. The class was designed in 1937 by Charlie Nicholson. The class made its Olympic début in 1952 and remained on the Olympic Program through 1968. The event was raced on a 13.1 nautical mile (24.2 km) course, the same as for all the larger boats in Helsinki.

After six races, Norway’s Encore had a comfortable lead over the American boat Complex II, but helmsman Britton Chance won the final race. Peder Lunde, Sr., helming Encore, needed to finish third in the seventh race for the gold medal, but placed fourth and the gold went to Chance and Complex II. Lunde’s crew included his wife, Vibeke, and his brother-in-law, Børre Falkum-Hansen. Britton Chance was a a professor of biochemistry at Penn, and was chairman of the department of biophysics and physical biochemistry. His crew included the twin brothers, Ed and Sumner White.

1Complex IIUSA5,751Gold
Britton ChanceEd WhiteMichael SchoettleSumner White
Vibeke LundeBørre Falkum-HansenPeder Lunde, Sr.
Carl-Erik OhlsonFolke WassénMagnus Wassén
Duarte Manuel BelloFernando BelloJúlio Gourinho
Ludovico KempterRodolfo VollenweiderTomás Galfrascoli
Desmond DillonNeil Kennedy-Cochran-Patrick Robert Perry
Eric BeningfieldJoe Ellis-BrownNoel Horsfield
Aarne CastrénErik StadighHans Dittmar
9Tom KyleGER2,845
Hans LubinusHans-Hermann MagnussenLudwig Bielenberg
Dario SalataEgone JakinGiorgio Audizio
Henning ChristensenIngemann Bylling JensenPoul Ohff
12Tim-Tam IIISUI1,674
Henri CopponexMark SchürchPierre Chuit
Flip KeegstraPiet Jan van der GiessenWim de Vries Lentsch
Jacques AllardJean Roux-DelimalNoël Calone
Basil KellyBasil McKinneyDon PritchardGodfrey Higgs
Konstantin AleksandrovLev AlekseyevPavel Pankrashkin