World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Sailing at the 1920 Summer Olympics

at the Games of the VII Olympiad
Poster Anvers 1920
Venues ●Ostend
Dates First race: 7 July 1920 (1920-07-07) (Ostend)
Last race: 10 July 1920 (1920-07-10)
Final race: 3 September 1920 (1920-09-03) (Amsterdam)
Sailors 98 from 6 countries
Boats 23
Top ranked countries
Norway: 1st  2nd  3rd  
Netherlands: 1st  2nd  3rd  
Sweden: 1st  2nd  3rd  

The sailing at the 1920 Summer Olympics consisted of a total of 16 sailing classes (disciplines), but actually only 14 Sailing events were contested. Two of these classes (8.5 Metre and 9 Metre) finally did not have entries. For each class three races were scheduled from 7 July 1920 to 9 July 1920 of the coast of Ostend North Sea. On 10 July 1920 sail-off races could be held.

Two courses were used for the races, each equilateral triangles. One of 6 nmi (11 km) and one of 12 nmi (22 km).


  • Venue 1
  • Competition 2
    • Overview 2.1
    • Continents 2.2
    • Countries 2.3
    • Classes (equipment) 2.4
  • Medal summary 3
  • Medal tables 4
    • Sailing 1920 4.1
    • Sailing 1896–1920 4.2
  • Remarks 5
    • Sailors 5.1
  • Notes 6
  • References 7


Royal Yacht Club of Belgium
Skyline of Royal Yacht Club of Belgium
Flag of Royal Yacht Club of Belgium

Ostend offers a fair condition for sailing. However there are tidal conditions the current is reasonable predictable local knowledge does not have too much influence of the races. The wind conditions are also good for sailing. However in the case of the 1920 Summer Olympic regatta's the prevailing breeze did not show. Most races had to be sailed under light air conditions.

An unprecedented and unique Olympic situation happened with the races in the 12' Dinghy. When in the second race one of the marks was taken hostage by the tidal current and went drifting the race had to be nullified. Since the organizers did not have the time to resail the race and both teams were of Dutch origin the Belgian organization requested the Dutch Olympic Committee to resail the finals in The Netherlands. As a result the first Olympic event held in the Netherlands was not in 1928 but already in 1920. As venue of this final the Buiten IJ in Amsterdam was chosen.


The Olympic Sailing event of 1920 was without any doubt the most strangest in history so far. With a program of no less than 16 classes and an entry list that consists of 7 out of 14 classes with just competitor and only one class with more than 3 yachts.

After World War I the International Sailing Authority had obvious no clue in what direction sailing had developed since 1912. The Nordic countries had developed the Skerry Cruiser classes and the International rule classes had adopted in 1919 a new edition of the rule which was not yet implemented in the countries. Therefore the entries were open for the old, as well the new rule and two Skerry classes. Besides that, an advice from 1908 was followed by putting two one design classes on the program. By doing this the 1920 Olympics acted as a test laboratory from which the IYRU could draw conclusion for the further development of the sport. These lessons learned, not too many different classes and moving towards one design classes, did show during the next Olympic Sailing event and are still taken into account.


Continents Countries Classes Boats Male Female
1 6 14 23 97 1


  • Europe


Countries that participated in the Sailing event of the 1920 Olympic Games.
Blue: Water
Gray: Never participated in OG
Dark Gray: Participated in earlier OG
Green: Country participated for the first time
Dark Blue: Country participated also on previous games
Red: Country boycotted the sailing event of the OG

Classes (equipment)

Class Type Event Sailors Trapeze Mainsail Jib/Genoa Spinnaker First OG Olympics so far
12' Dinghy Dinghy 2 0 + 1920 1
18' Dinghy Dinghy 2 0 + ? ? 1920 1
6.5 Metre Keelboat 3 0 + + 1920 1
8.5 Metre Keelboat 4 0 + + ? 1920 1
6 Metre (2x) Keelboat 3 0 + + + 1908 3
7 Metre Keelboat 4 0 + + + 1908 2
8 Metre (2x) Keelboat 5 0 + + + 1908 3
9 Metre Keelboat 6 0 + + + 1920 1
10 Metre (2x) Keelboat 8 0 + + + 1912 2
12 Metre (2x) Keelboat 9 0 + + + 1908 3
30m2 Skerry Cruiser Keelboat 7 0 + + + 1920 1
40m2 Skerry Cruiser Keelboat 8 0 + + + 1920 1

= Male, = Female, = Open

1920 Olympic Classes designs
1920 Olympic Classes in action

Medal summary

Event Gold Silver Bronze

1920: 12' Dinghy

 Netherlands (NED)
Cornelis Hin
Johan Hin
Frans Hin
 Netherlands (NED)
Arnoud van der Biesen
Petrus Beukers
No further competitors

1920: 18' Dinghy

 Great Britain (GBR)
Francis Richards
Thomas Hedberg
No further competitors No further competitors

1920: 6.5 Metre

 Netherlands (NED)
Joop Carp
Berend Carp
Petrus Wernink
 France (FRA)
Albert Weil
Robert Monier
Félix Picon
No further competitors

1920: 6 Metre
1907 rule

 Belgium (BEL)
Emile Cornellie
Frédéric Bruynseels
Florimond Cornellie
 Norway (NOR)
Einar Torgersen
Leif Erichsen
Andreas Knudsen
 Norway (NOR)
Henrik Agersborg
Einar Berntsen
Trygve Pedersen

1920: 6 Metre
1919 rule

 Norway (NOR)
Andreas Brecke
Paal Kaasen
Ingolf Rød
 Belgium (BEL)
Léon Huybrechts
Charles van den Bussche
John Klotz
No further competitors

1920: 7 Metre

 Great Britain (GBR)
Cyril Wright
Robert Coleman
William Maddison
Dorothy Wright
 Norway (NOR)
Johann Faye
Sten Abel
Christian Dick
Neils Neilsen
No further competitors

1920: 8 Metre
1907 rule

 Norway (NOR)
Carl Ringvold
Thorleif Holbye
Alf Jacobsen
Kristoffer Olsen
Tellef Wagle
No further competitors No further competitors

1920: 8 Metre
1919 rule

 Norway (NOR)
Magnus Konow
Thorleif Christoffersen
Reidar Marthiniussen
Ragnar Vik
 Norway (NOR)
Jens Salvesen
Finn Schiander
Lauritz Schmidt
Nils Thomas
Ralph Tschudi
 Belgium (BEL)
Albert Grisar
Willy de l'Arbre
Georges Hellebuyck
Léopold Standaert
Henri Weewauters

1920: 10 Metre
1907 rule

 Norway (NOR)
Erik Herseth
Gunnar Jamvold
Petter Jamvold
Claus Juell
Sigurd Holter
Ingar Nielsen
Ole Sørensen
No further competitors No further competitors

1920: 10 Metre
1919 rule

 Norway (NOR)
Charles Arentz
Otto Falkenberg
Robert Giertsen
Willy Gilbert
Halfdan Schjött
Trygve Schjøtt
Arne Sejersted
No further competitors No further competitors

1920: 12 Metre
1907 rule

 Norway (NOR)
Henrik Østervold
Halvor Birkeland
Rasmus Birkeland
Lauritz Christiansen
Hans Naess
Halvor Mögster
Jan Østervold
Kristian Østervold
Ole Østervold
No further competitors No further competitors

1920: 12 Metre
1919 rule

 Norway (NOR)
Johan Friele
Arthur Allers
Martin Borthen
Kaspar Hassel
Erik Ørvig
Olav Örvig
Thor Ørvig
Egill Reimers
Christen Wiese
No further competitors No further competitors

1920: 30m2 Skerry cruiser

 Sweden (SWE)
Gösta Lundqvist
Gösta Bengtsson
Axel Calvert
Rolf Steffenburg
No further competitors No further competitors

1920: 40m2 Skerry cruiser

 Sweden (SWE)
Tore Holm
Yngve Holm
Axel Rydin
Georg Tengwall
 Sweden (SWE)
Gustaf Svensson
Percy Almstedt
Erik Mellbin
Ragnar Svensson
No further competitors

Medal tables

Sailing 1920

 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Norway (NOR) 7 3 1 11
2  Netherlands (NED) 2 1 0 3
 Sweden (SWE) 2 1 0 3
4  Great Britain (GBR) 2 0 0 2
5  Belgium (BEL) 1 1 1 3
6  France (FRA) 0 1 0 1
Total 14 7 2 23

Sailing 1896–1920

 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Norway 9 3 1 13
2  United Kingdom 9 1 2 12
3  France 3 7 6 16
4  Sweden 3 4 1 8
5  Netherlands 2 1 0 3
6  Belgium 1 2 1 4
7   Switzerland 1 0 0 1
 Mixed team (ZZX) 1 0 0 1
9  Finland 0 1 2 3
10  Denmark 0 1 0 1
 Germany 0 1 0 1
12  Russia 0 0 1 1
USA 0 0 1 1
Total 13 29 21 15 65


  • As result of the First World War,  Austria (AUT),  Germany (GER),  Hungary (HUN) and  Turkey (TUR) were not invited.
  • The agony athletes develop after finishing fourth at the Olympics must have started at the Olympic Sailing event of 1920. The Belgium 6 Metre team of Louis Depiere, Raymond Bauwens and Willy Valcke finished 4th and became the only sailing team at the 1920 Olympics that went home without a medal.


During the Sailing regattas at the 1920 Summer Olympics among others the following persons were competing in the various classes:

  •  Norway (NOR), Johan Anker, Multiple Olympic competitor and designer of many Metre yachts as well as the 1948 Olympic Dragon, in the 12 Metre
  •  Norway (NOR), Magnus Konow, Six time Olympic competitor and multiple medal winner.
Sailors at the 1920 Olympic Games
In Fram:
Johan Anker 



  • Belgium Olympic Committee (1957). "Olympic Games 1920 – Officiel Report" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-01-22. 
  • Heijmans, Jeroen. "Nederlands goud (5)". Retrieved 3 June 2010. 
  • "Antwerp 1920". International Olympic Committee. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.