Sailing at the 1964 Summer Olympics

TOKYO, Japan—The International Olympic Committee recently unveiled the design of the torch for the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, which means we’re inching even closer to various sailing classes competing against each other at the quadrennial athletic competition in Japan. Next year’s Summer Games will use the same yacht harbor sailing teams competed at during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Did you know the yacht harbor at Enoshima Island was specifically built for Olympic competition?

An infusion of infrastructure is a common selling point for cities seeking to host an Olympic event. Hosting an Olympics, it has been argued, benefits the host city long after the Games are over, particularly in the usable infrastructure left behind. Enoshima Yacht Harbour is one such example of this argument/selling point. The harbor was built specifically for sailing events at the 1964 Summer Games – and it has been used ever since as a destination for recreational boating.

The official report of the 1964 Summer Games stated Enoshima Yacht Harbour, which is located in Sagami Bay, was the only venue capable of hosting competitive sailing events.

“Water surface on sea or lake and a yacht harbour are the prime essentials for yacht races, and the requirements for Olympic Yachting competitions need both wide water surface and a large harbour,” the official report of the 1964 Summer Games stated. “In the neighbourhood of Tokyo, Sagami Bay was the only area that could furnish the three necessary courses for the five Olympic races.

“No [satisfactory] harbour existed on Sagami Bay, however, to meet the requirements,” the official report continued. “It was decided therefore to build a large scale harbour at Enoshima in preparation for the 1964 Olympics. This decision coincided with the Enoshima port development project.”

Construction of the harbor started in May 1963 and continued until August 1964; the harbor was built by Shimizu Construction Co. and designed by Taniguchi Yoshiro and Yamada Mizuki Architects.

Sailing events will be held at the harbor yet again in 2020, when the Summer Games return to Tokyo for the first time in 56 years.

Source: LA84 Foundation and LA84.org.

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