Written by Jack O'Rourke
Australian Sailing today awarded five worthy recipients the Barranjoey Pin, an initiative launched by the governing body to formally recognise those sailors who embody of the great traditions and values of the sport and compete at the highest level for Australia in sailing.
“This creates the start of a process to bring a lot of sailors back in to the sport, renew friendships, and also allow us to go on doing mentoring programs and other programs to bring people together,” Australian Sailing President Matt Allen said.
“We will utilise the expertise that a lot of people who’ve retired have … to help the sailors of today to the mutual benefit of the people involved.”
The Barranjoey Pin is a uniquely numbered alumni pin, named in honour of the boat which sailed to Australia’s first Olympic sailing gold medal. To be eligible for a pin, sailors must have competed for Australia in an Olympic boat class, Competed for Australia at the Olympic or Paralympic Games or achieved Australian Sailing Team status.
The recipient of the first Barranjoey Pin was Australian sailing legend Jock Sturrock, who represented Australia at the Olympic games, in the America’s Cup skippering Gretel, and multiple times in the Admiral’s Cup. His daughter Virginia Jamieson was on hand to receive his pin.
James ‘Dick’ Sargeant was in attendance for the presentation of his pin, which got its namesake from the 5.5-metre class yacht Barranjoey that Sargeant, along with Bill Northam and Peter O’Donnell, sailed to victory at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games.
“Barrenjoey was named for the famous lighthouse off Palm Beach, which guides sailors back home, and in a way that signifies what is going on here today.” Reflected Sargeant. “Just like they yacht here on display [at the Australian National Maritime Museum] this initiative means the history of Australian sailing will live one.”
Australian Sailing Performance Director, Iain Murray, who received his own pin, number 159, commented on the importance of this initiative. “Growing up … having heroes is important so that young sailors have something to aspire to.”
“Today is a turning point for Australian sailing. The sport has matured over the last few decades, and now its time to put back in to our sport. The foundation of our sport is our history, especially our successes on the water.
“Its time to re-cut, and hoist a new sail, and the awarding of these pins commemorates a great step forward for our sport.”
Current Australian Team sailors David Gilmour and Joel Turner were the latest pin recipients: numbers 205 and 206.
“Us being over the 200’s to receive a pin, really sets the platform we have to work from,” Turner said. “There’s a lot of history in our sport. Taking short cuts won’t work. We know that Australians have been very successful.”
The two 49er sailors are preparing for the World Championships in Denmark in August. “We have a big couple months ahead of us”, said David Gilmour. “That’s the big test for us. It’s the first Olympic selection event for Australia, so were working hard towards that.”