19 Jul 1980
03 Aug 1980
Country of the host city
Los Angeles (USA)
Russia had been part of the Olympics since 1900, and though the status of Finland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia had caused political problems in the past, it was nothing like the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. The USA failed to have a boycott of the Moscow Games imposed but a high number of countries, probably 40-50, or individual sports federations, decided not to send teams.
The official tally shows 80 nations competing where they had been 92 and 121 in Montreal and Munich. In sporting terms the notable absentees were the USA, Japan and West Germany and along with these three, Australia, Britain, Canada and France were missing from the sailing competition. Competitors were reduced too with only 83 boats contesting the six classes, the smallest total since 1956. The Tempest was dropped after just two Games to make way for the Star's return with Valentin Mankin and Hubert Raudaschl winning the gold and silver.
Given the circumstances, the USSR might have been expected to win more, but Boris Budinov took silver in the Soling (behind a second successive gold for Dane Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen) and Andrei Balashov. A silver in the FD for David Wilkins gave Ireland its first and only sailing medal.