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Alexander 'Jock' Sturrock
, 1962

by Graham Thorley

oil on canvas (frame: 108.0 cm x 88.0 cm, support: 92.0 cm x 71.5 cm)

Alexander (Jock) Sturrock MBE (1915-1997), yachtsman, represented Australia in four Olympic Games between 1948 and 1960, winning a bronze medal in the 5.5 metre class in 1960. In 1962 he was appointed skipper of Australia's first America's Cup challenger, Gretel. That year Sturrock was named Australian of the Year, gaining the award for his 'plucky attempt', his 'modest and manly bearing' and the 'sporting spirit' in which he and his crew accepted defeat. Sturrock won more than 20 Australian Yachting Championships before retiring from competitive sailing after his unsuccessful America's Cup challenge in Dame Pattie in 1967. He sailed in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race 11 times.

Graham Thorley entered the Archibald Prize twenty-three times between 1940 and 1976; this portrait was his entry for 1962. In 1980 Thorley became the first Australian artist to visit the South Pole, where he painted a series of landscapes.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 1999
Accession number: 1999.33