Cowes week? Or the Olympics!

Vintage Yachting Games
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1928: Cowes week? Or the Olympics!

At this moment sailors in 11 classes from all over the world are working very hard to get selected for the 2008 Olympics in China. For many it is seen as the ultimate regatta to sail. For others it is the stepping stone to a career as professional sailor.


In 1928 the situation was somewhat different. The sailing event of the Amsterdam Olympics was organized in only three classes (12ft Dinghy, 6 Metre and 8 Metre).

In the early days of the Olympic Games each sport had it’s own period in the Olympic year. E.g. Athletics in spring, swimming in summer and gymnastics in autumn.

Unfortunately the dates planned for sailing where overlapping the already established Cowes week. This proved to be a difficult choice for the top sailors at the time.

The president of the Royal Dutch Yachting Union, made a journey in 1927 to England to make explicit that the 1928 Olympic Regatta would be special! Fortunately some highly respected sailors, like King Olav from Norway, made the choice for Amsterdam. Some others went to Cowes.

It would be nice to know what decision those sailors would have made when they knew what we know now about the Olympics. This year some of the sailors in the Europe, O-Jolle, Flying Dutchman, Soling and Dragon must make a choice too.

From 20—27 of September 2008 the first Vintage Yachting Games will be held in the Netherlands, off the coast of Medemblik. Therefore we will celebrate 2008 as our first Vintage Year.

O-Jolle in present day trim - photo www.olympiajolle.de
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2008 will be a year of major importance for sailing. Not only critical decisions will be made on issues about the America’s cup and the re-selection Olympic classes. But 2008 will also produce a new generation of Olympic and Paralympic medalists.

For the Europe, O-Jolle, Flying Dutchman, Soling and Dragon classes, 2008 will be the first year that these classes will reconvene in a regatta organized in the light of their Olympic history. The Vintage Yachting Games!

During the Vintage Yachting Games a selected group of top sailors from each country will participate in seven challenging races. The races will emphasize on the game of sailing. Amongst other things this means that everything will be focused on fair racing conditions for all competitors.

As in the days of the Olympic history of the classes the selection of the competitors must be done by the countries. Only this time by the National Class Organizations. The Vintage Yachting Games Organization is aiming for about 20+ boats at the starting line in each class. Let this be a highly competitive