Great Britain is the most successful nation in the history of sailing in the Olympics with 28 gold medals. Britain lies second behind the United States in the most medals won category with 58 (28 gold, 19 silver and 11 bronze) medals.
Britain also finished as the top medal recipients at six Olympics (1900, 1908, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2016), one ahead of the United States (1932, 1948, 1952, 1968 and 1984). With exception of 1912 (did not send any sailors), 1960 and 1980 (boycotted), Britain has won medals in every edition of the Olympics.
British Olympics’ Medal Haul
Britain is also home to some of greatest names in the sport, such as Ben Ainslie, who holds the record for the most sailing medals won. Ainslie won his five medals (four goals and a silver) in five consecutive Olympics held between 1996 and 2012 in the Finn and Laser classes.
The previous British record holder, Scotsman Rodney Pattinson, is another legend of the sport. He won 3 medals in the Flying Dutchman class in the 1968, 1972 and 1976 Olympics.
Speaking of mythical sportsmen, Britain’s first ever gold medal in sailingis shrouded in a little bit of mystery. Although the record books showed that Lorne Currie, John Gretton, Linton Hope and Algernon Maudslay won the ½-1 ton class in the 1900 games, no one is quite certain whether any of them were there in the first place!
Linton Hope was definitely in England during the tournament, but team officials included his name because he designed the team boat, Scotia. Currie and Gretton, meanwhile, were the co-owners of the Scotia, but there are questions whether they were part of the crew. Maudslay, meanwhile, was the only one named in press reports covering the win. However, team officials did not list him as a crew of Scotia and his name was only added years later. The same three names were also entered by team officials for the team that won Open class and Britain’s second gold medal.