Jörg Spengler – Obitary

JÖRG SPENGLER, Tornado Olympic Medalist, has died aged 74.

Jörg SpenglerWe have lost an outstanding sailor and remarkable personality with the death of Jörg Spengler, the winner of the Olympic Bronze Medal in 1976.

The Commodore of Honour of the International Tornado Association ITA and Honorary Chairman of the German Tornado Class Organisation died on 26th November in Nürnberg, his home town, only a few weeks before his 75th birthday.

This successful sportsman won the German Tornado Championships several times. In 1970 he also won the European Championship together with Ekkehart von Selzam. Twice he could win the World Championship: 1975 with Jörg Schmall from Konstanz in Copenhagen, and 1977 in Los Angeles, with another partner hailing from Konstanz, Rolf Dullenkopf.

No doubt his greatest achievement in his sailing career will remain the winning of the Olympic Bronze Medal in 1976 with Jörg Schmall (Kingston/Canada). Another attempt to gain Olympic Honours for Germany following in 1984. He and Jürgen Jentsch from Füssen narrowly missed the Qualifiying of the German Sailing Association for the Los Angeles Games by coming in second.  Notwithstanding this Jörg was listed as the ISAF world leader in the Tornado Class that very year.

The successful architect Jörg Spengler was also one of the most formative personalities in the International Tornado Class. Together with Jörg Schmall he introduced a system of ranking and established quality standards for regattas. They constituted the Executive Committee of the German Class Association for many years, Jörg Spengler being the president of the International Tornado Class Association ITA at the same time.

For Jörg Spengler a regatta meant competing with friends, rather than fighting against the other competitors. This view built the foundation of the lifelong and close friendship with Jörg Schmall.

When his active participation in regattas had ended, he turned to golf and became a keen and enthusiastic player, eventually taking over responsibilities as president of his golf club. Social responsibilities were equally important to him as a member of the Rotary Club.

His motto was: ‘No success without enthusiasm!’, and he certainly knew how to inspire others, be it in a philosophical discussion, or about the right choice of topsail batten, or even about the correct handling of a divining rod…

Jörg Spengler’s outstanding achievements and merits for the Tornado Class will always be remembered and honoured by us. Our deepest  and heartfelt sympathy goes to his wife Ingrid and his family.

Jürgen Jentsch                                                                                      Jörg Schmall


International Tornado Association