Long road to Enoshima Yacht Harbour

Published on July 8th, 2021

From the first Olympiad in 1896, Sailing has been one of the Olympic sports, though its debut had a rough start in Greece when the races were canceled due to severe weather conditions. Welcome to sailing!

The third Olympics in 1904 was the first to be outside of Europe when it was held in St. Louis, Missouri. However, this was also the only Games where Sailing events were not held, as 260 miles to Chicago was apparently too far.

Much has changed since then with the Sailing events at the Beijing 2008 Games held 350 miles away in Quindao, but the ultimate precedent will be the Surfing events for Paris 2024 to be held nearly ten thousand miles away on Tahiti!

For Tokyo 2020, the Sailing venue originally was Tokyo Bay, but when the flight path of Tokyo International Airport would restrict the aerial broadcast, the venue was moved to Enoshima, 30 miles to the southwest. The shift became a blessing when excessive levels of bacteria detected in Tokyo Bay became a concern for the Swimming events.

The Enoshima Yacht Harbour was constructed for use at the 1964 Games, based on a small offshore island about 2.5 miles in circumference, and connected to the mainland by a 1276-foot bridge. But when the 350 athletes begin competing in one of the ten Sailing events from July 25 to August 4, they will have endured a year of doubt due to the pandemic.

Here’s the timeline for the Tokyo 2020 Games:

Sept. 7, 2013 — Tokyo wins bid to host 2020 Summer Games.
Jan. 30, 2020 — World Health Organization declares coronavirus outbreak global health emergency.
Feb. 4 — Tokyo Olympic organizing body sets up task force to deal with coronavirus outbreak.
March 11 — WHO calls coronavirus outbreak “pandemic.”
March 24 — Then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, IOC chief Thomas Bach agree to delay Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics by one year.
March 30 — IOC, Japanese organizers agree to hold Olympics from July 23 to Aug. 8, 2021.
March 20, 2021 — Organizers decide to stage Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics without overseas spectators due to pandemic.
March 22 — Tokyo Olympic organizing committee says most volunteers from overseas will not be allowed to enter Japan.
May 28 — Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga says he will consider allowing spectators at venues.
June 16 — Japanese government decides to allow up to 10,000 spectators at large events.
June 17 — Japanese government decides to end state of emergency in Tokyo.
June 18 — Japan’s top COVID-19 adviser says staging Tokyo Olympics without spectators “desirable.”
June 21 — Organizers set Tokyo Olympic spectator cap at 10,000 per venue.
July 8 — Organizers agree to hold Olympics without spectators in Tokyo following Japanese government’s decision to declare state of emergency.
July 25 — Four events – Men’s and Women’s One Person Dinghy (ILCA 7 and 6) and Men’s and Women’s Windsurfing (RS:X) – begin the Sailing program.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Program
Men’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 7
Women’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 6
Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – 49erFx
Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy – Finn
Men’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Women’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17

Original dates: July 24 to August 9, 2020
Revised dates: July 23 to August 8, 2021

Details: https://tokyo2020.org/en/games/schedule/olympic/

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