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, Sturrock Court in the Melbourne suburb of Mill Park and a bridge in Noosa, Queensland.
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