Original archive scans on how Yachting World reported Britain’s previous Olympic regatta in Torquay. Plus, a taste of the era from our archives

Yachting World has covered every Olympics since the first in 1900. As part of our build up to the 2012 Games we delve into our archives to take a look back at how Yachting World reported some of the key events in the history of the sailing Olympics.

From cash prizes, to calls for one designs, the topics of 100 years ago were strikingly similar to those of today, proving as ever that there is little that hasn’t already been discussed, debated and disputed.

We also take a look at some of the other topics of the time, while browsing some of the ads of the era.

Our exclusive mini series, only available online, draws on Yachting World’s extensive archive of original reports and makes compulsive reading.

We kick off our five part, weekly series with the 1948 London Olympics. This was the last time that the UK hosted the Games and for sailing, Torquay was the venue.

Simply click on the links to download our pdf scans of the original YW features.


1948 – Torquay

Single-handed Fireflies, Swallows, Stars, Dragons and Six metres, the sailing competition of the XIV Olympiad was held in Torquay. Despite the apparent home advantage, Britain won just one medal, a gold in the Swallows while the American team scooped up four medals in the five classes.

Yachting World was there and reported on the racing blow by blow, picking out some of the up and coming stars, including the 20 year old Paul Elvstrom who took Gold in the Firefly.

The event started in light winds but by the end the breeze had built as the drama ramped up.

 1948 Olympic Feature

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David Thomas describes cruising the Solent as a 12 year old

(He later become a journalist for YW and one of the best known names in Yacht Design.)