Alexander (Jock) Stuart Sturrock MBE

Jock  Sturrock was  born into a sailing family and won the first of over 400 national and  state yachting championships when  he was  just 12 years old. A highly versatile yachtsman, Jock  competed in a wide variety of classes; he was  the first Australian sailor to represent Australia  at the London  Olympics  in 1948,  then  went on to sail at three  more  successive Olympic Games, and competed in 11 Sydney to Hobart  Yacht Races. The other  Olympic Games were  the 1952  Helsinki Games, the 1956  Melbourne Games, where he won bronze, and  the 1960  Rome Games where he carried the Australian flag at the opening ceremony. In 1962  Sir Frank  Packer’s America’s Cup syndicate asked Jock  to skipper Gretel, which competed against Weatherly for the coveted trophy. Although  defeated four to one  by Weatherly, Gretel’s victory in the second race was  the first by a challenger since 1934,  and  is widely recognised as the first of the events that resurrected the America’s Cup as an international sporting competition. Jock  won wide acclaim for his sporting behaviour. He was  honoured with the Lindy Award for sportsmanship, Australian Yachtsman of the Year and  ultimately Australian of the Year.  Jock  also  skippered the next America’s Cup Challenge, Dame Pattie, in 1967. He also  won the Melbourne to Sydney 600 mile handicap in 1962  on Julie. Jock  won the Lindy Trophy for sport  in 1962  and  that same year  was  named the Australian of the Year and Australian Yachtsman of the Year. Between 1972  and  1980  Jock  was  a member of the Olympic Fundraising Committee. Jock  was  made a Member of the Order  of the British Empire  in 1975  for his services to yachting. In 1985 he was  elected one  of the five inaugural ‘Legends of Australian Sport’ on the establishment of the Sports Australia  Hall of Fame. In 1995  he was  made Patron of International 12-Metre Racing in Sydney. Other  tributes to Jock  include  a street named after him (Sturrock Place) in the Canberra suburb of Gordon, a court (Sturrock Court) in the Melbourne suburb of Mill Park  and  a bridge  in Noosa, Queensland.

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