Olympic Motorboating (Water Motor sports)

Motorboating (also called Powerboating or Water Motor sports) was an official sport only once at the Olympic Games, in 1908 (it was also a demonstration sport in 1900). In 1908 there were three categories - the eight-meter, 60-foot and open class.

The event, sprictly for men, involved racing five laps (or 40 nautical miles) around a specific course. Speeds were not impressive by today's standards: average speeds were around the 19mph mark. It was not a great spectator sport either, with the action taking place off Southampton, where virtually no one could see the action. Due to bad weather, six out of the nine scheduled races were cancelled. No wonder we never saw this event again at the Olympic Games.

Results

Of special note was the performance of Thomas Thornycroft of Briton, who won won gold in two different classes. 44 years later, at age 70, he was selected for another Olympic water sport - the British yachting team at the 1952 Olympics.

checkered flag8 Meter Class

Great Britain Thomas Thornycroft, Bernard Redwood, John Field-Richard
(DNF Great Britain Warwick Wright, Thomas Wynn-Weston)
40 nautical miles in 2:28:26

60 Foot Class

Great Britain Thomas Thornycroft, Bernard Redwood, John Field-Richard
(DNF Great Britain Mr & Mrs John Gorham)
40 nautical miles in 2:28:58

Open Class (A-Class)

France Emile Thubron
(DNF Great Britain Duke of Westminster, Winchester St George Clowes, Joseph Laycock, G H Atkinson)
40 nautical miles in 2:26:53

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