| Event type

Three Person Keelboat (Soling), Open

Date29 August – 8 September 1972
LocationAußenförde, Kiel-Schilksee (Kurs A)
Participants80 from 26 countries
FormatPoints awarded for placement in each race. Best six of seven scores to count for final placement.

The Soling class made its Olympic début at the 1972 Olympics and would remain on the Olympic Program through 2000. At München, both the Soling and Dragon were raced as three-person keelboat designs, but after 1972, the Soling would be the three-person keelboat event until it was replaced by the Yngling in 2004. The Soling was designed by Norwegian yacht designer Jan Linge who was working on modifications to the 5.5-metre class in the early 1960s. Linge’s designs turned into the Tempest class, although that design is credited to Ian Proctor, but eventually Linge modified the design into what became the Soling. Linge also designed the Yngling in 1967.

This event was delayed several days by light winds on 5 September, the Olympic suspension on 6 September due to the Israeli Massacre back in München, and heavy fog on 7 September. Racing on the Alpha course, the Soling was only completed on 8 September, but only six races could be held. The gold was easily won by American skipper Buddy Melges, Jr. who had three race wins, a second, a third, and a fourth to win the class. Melges had won a bronze medal in Flying Dutchman at the 1964 Olympics. In 1992 he co-skippered the America 3 to victory in the America’s Cup, making him the first sailor to win both an Olympic gold medal and the America’s Cup.

Canada won the bronze medal, with Paul Côté a crew member. In 1971 he formed a group of five that called themselves the “Don’t Make a Wave Committee,” whose purpose was to sail to Amchitka Island in Alaska and disrupt a US nuclear test. A boat did get near the nuclear zone, but Côté was not on it. The group became famous, however, when it later expanded and changed their name to Greenpeace.

Denmark’s Paul Elvstrøm started in the Soling, attempting to win his fifth Olympic gold medal after winning the one-person dinghy four times consecutively from 1948-60. He was disqualified in the fifth race after a bumping incident with the French boat, was quite unhappy with the decision, and refused to start the final race. The helmsman of the 10th-placed Norwegian boat was HRH Crown Prince Harald. Finland’s entry finished 12th, skippered by Peter Tallberg, later an IOC Member and President of the International Yacht Racing Union.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCNet PointsTP
1United StatesUSA8.716.7Gold
Buddy Melges, Jr.Bill AllenBill Bentsen
Bo KnapeLennart RoslundStefan KrookStig Wennerström
Dave MillerJohn EkelsPaul Côté
Bernard DrubayJean-Marie le GuillouJean-Yves PellerinBertrand Cheret
5Great BritainGBR54.780.7
Barry DunningCharles ReynoldsJohn Oakeley
Axel Preben-SchmidtErik Preben-SchmidtPatrick Mascarenhas
7Soviet UnionURS65.088.0
Rais GalimovTimir PineginValentin Zamotaykin
Józef BłaszczykStanisław StefańskiZygfryd Perlicki
Juan LlortRamón BalcellsRamón Balcells Rodón
Eirik JohannessenKronprins HaraldRolf Lund
11West GermanyFRG76.7104.7
Friedrich MayHans-Joachim BerndtNorbert Wagner
Arndt NorrgårdJohan TallbergPeter Tallberg
Jan KjærulffPaul ElvstrømValdemar Bandolowski
14East GermanyGDR83.0109.0
Lothar KoepsellRoland SchwarzWerner Christoph
Alex CooperJordy WalkerKirk Cooper
Denis O'NeilKlaas BerkeleyBob Miller
Peter DenzelRobert HaschkaUlrich Strohschneider
Charles De BondsridderDirk De BockWalter Haverhals
Antonio OlivieroGiuseppe MiloneRoberto Mottola Di Amato
Hans GutPeter GerberRonni Pieper
21New ZealandNZL113.0139.0
Con LintonJack ScholesSteve Marten
Héctor CamposPedro FerreroRicardo Boneo
Armando BaucheDaniel EscalanteEsteban Gerard
24United States Virgin IslandsISV136.0166.0
David JonesDavid KellyDick Holmberg
25The BahamasBAH137.0169.0
Percy KnowlesBobby SymonetteCraig Symonette
Alfonso QuaAmbrosio SantosMario Almario