by Jeni Danks
It is with great sadness that the Olympic community is advised of the sudden and tragic passing of Darren Dunkley-Smith, a passionate and tireless contributor to the development of sailing.
Although not an elite sailor himself, Darren became deeply involved in the sailing scene while supporting his wife Addy Bucek in her two Olympic representations for Australia in the International 470 class with her sailing partner Jeni Lidgett.
For many years Darren was the President and driving force of the 470 Class Association in Australia. His drive and enthusiasm for the sport then saw Darren elected as Vice President and subsequently President of the International Class Association.
Darren served as President from Nov 2002 until 2005, when ill health prevented him from continuing in the role he loved so much.
As well as his long and tireless support of the 470 class, Darren:
· Served on several ISAF Committees, most notably ISAF’s important Centreboard Committee;
· Actively contributed to the drive for ISAF to establish a world ranking system, with the ultimate objective being the establishment of an annual world cup series;
· Was a member of the core team that drove the concept and bid to stage the inaugural ‘Combined Olympic Class World Sailing Championship’ (now know as the ISAF World Sailing Championship) in the year prior to an Olympic Games - a concept that started life as the ‘99 Worlds’ in Melbourne; and
· Received an Order of Merit from the Victorian Olympic Council for his contribution to the Olympic movement.
Darren was 50 years old and well traveled. Most recently he made it to Base Cape at Mt Everest.
Darren is survived by Addy and their three children Josh, Addy Jnr and Connie. Their family’s Olympic involvement continues as Joshua Dunkley-Smith will represent Australia at the London Olympics in rowing in the Men's Four.
Darren Dunkley-Smith ... a simply ‘great bloke’ with a huge personality, who made us all laugh and gave so much of himself to others ... he will be missed by many.