19 Jul 1996
04 Aug 1996
Country of the host city
Athens (GRE), Belgrade (YUG), Manchester (GBR), Melbourne (AUS) and Toronto (CAN)
The sailing competition took place in Savannah was 240 miles south-east of Atlanta. The administration base on Tybee Island was created five miles out of town from where another three-mile ferry journey was needed to reach the temporary Olympic Marina on Wilmington Island. Further still was a day marina, built of out barges towed around from the Mississippi, was moored near Williamson Island. Finally contestants sailed into the shallow, murky waters of Wassaw Sound for the racing.
Convective activity played havoc at the start of the regatta, with a furious lightning storm coming through on practice day and only three of eight races possible on the first day. Thunderstorms and light winds totalled up to make this a difficult regatta in terms of both commuting and competing. Nonetheless 22 nations shared the 30 medals available. Mitch Booth became Australia's first multi-medallist.
Having won the bronze in the Tornado class in Barcelona with John Forbes, Booth got the silver with Andrew Landenberger. In between, Booth and Forbes had a major falling out with the selection for the 1996 Australian Tornado spot ending up the courts. Following Spain's host nation success proved difficult for the US Sailing Team. Jeff Madrigali and Courtney Becker-Dey won bronze in the Soling and Europe, but the were only American successes.
Among the conspicuous new faces was Mateusz Kusnierewicz winning the Finn gold for Poland, Greece's Nikolas Kaklamanakis the windsurfing (now using Lechner equipment) gold with Israel's Gal Fridman taking the bronze, Spain's Teresa Zabell winning a second successive 470 Women's gold but with Japan's Alicia Kinoshita and Yumiko Shige in the silver position, Ukrainians Yevhen Braslavets and Ihor Matviyenko the Men's 470 gold and Lee Lai Shan the Windsurfing Women's medal. Hong Kong was in transition from British colony to autonomous region of China and it was the tiny Asian state's first gold in any sport.