First Olympic Gold

Although devoted cruiser men, the Founding Fathers would doubtless have been proud of the new 6 metre class, born of the universal adoption of the new International Yacht Racing Rules. It was in DORMY, a member of the class, that G. U. Laws (renowned for his helmsmanship as well as his designs) won the first Olympic Gold Medal in me annals of the Club. The instant success of this splendid class had filled the order books of British boatyards and there were many scattered around the Continent and Scandinavia but the Olympic dates clashed with the Ostend Regatta so, unfortunately, the only 6 metres available to put in an appearance at the Olympic meeting at Ryde were two British, one French, one Belgian and one Swedish, making five boats in all. The British entries were DORMY, owned by T. D. McMeekin, designed and helmed by G. U. Laws, and SIBINDI, owned by J. W. Leuchers, designed by A. Mylne (it is not recorded who was at the helm). T. D. McMeekin, writing in the September issue of The Yachting and Boating Monthly, described the event as the three most wearisome races in which I have ever participated. What he describes as the flukiest of winds meant that it required no less than 33/4 hours to cover a twelve mile course. It was fortunate that each day a true wind of moderate force blew up somewhere around the East Measured Mile Buoy and allowed some exciting finishes. DORMY was the overall winner and received a Svres vase, presented by the President of the French Republic to the British Olympic Council; a gilt medal to T. D. McMeekin, owner; Olympic Gold Medal to G. U. Laws, helmsman and two Olympic Silver Medals to the crew, (Major C. W. H. Chrichton and T. D. McMeekin).