The races were held on a 6 nautical mile (11 km) course in Port Phillip Bay. Paul Elvstrøm of Denmark had won the one-person dinghy at the 1948 and 1952 Olympics, although in 1948 it was raced in the Firefly class. He won the opening race in Melbourne, but then struggled in the next two, only to come back and win the final four races for a gold medal three-peat. He would make it a four-peat at Roma in 1960, becoming the first Olympian to win the same individual event at four consecutive Olympics. Elvstrøm could have skipped the final race and won the gold medal in 1956. Belgium’s André Nelis won the silver medal, winning the second race, and finishing second three times. The designer of the Finn, Rickard Sarby, placed fifth, while the eighth-place finisher was Canadian Bruce Kirby, who designed the Laser, which would later become an Olympic class.