Please select your home edition
Edition
Vaikobi 2021 Black Friday - LEADERBOARD

Australian Sailing mourns passing of John Cuneo OAM

by Michael Martin 3 Jun 2020 22:39 PDT
John Cuneo OAM © Natasha Hoppner

Australian Sailing is today mourning the loss of one of the legends of our sport, John Cuneo OAM.

John was one of Australia's most decorated sailors. He won National Championships in the Sharpie and lightweight Sharpie classes in the 50's and 60's, the 505 class in 1966 and the International Dragon class in 1968/69 before helming Wyuna to Olympic Gold in the International Dragon class at the Munich 1972 Olympic Games.

"John's contribution to sailing in Australia cannot be underestimated," said Australian Sailing President Daniel Belcher.

"He competed against the best in the world in some of the most competitive classes and beat them all. This was at a time where many of our international sailing champions were self-funded, and it is now legend that John's crew won Olympic gold with a set of sails discarded by the Canadian team not long before the Games."

Cuneo was a Life Member of the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, with his nephew Barry Cuneo now serving as the club's Commodore.

"Australia has lost one of the greatest sailors ever produced in this country, but his legacy of perfection and determination to succeed lives on in perpetuity with all those he has touched or met." said Barry today.

John was awarded his Barranjoey pin in a moving ceremony at RQYS in 2018, where Barry said "He got that glint back in his eye."

"John came back to his old self in a way. I was saying to him 'You were unbeatable, you won everything, you were an inspiration to everyone' and he just smiled back and said 'And you never won anything!'

In 1974, Cuneo was designated as helmsman of 'Southern Cross' in the America's Cup. At the last moment he was replaced but sailed as tactician in the 3rd and 4th heats. In 1980, Cuneo was appointed as the Olympics Yachting Coach. In all he won over 60 Championships in eight different classes.

Cuneo was inducted to the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1986, the Queensland Sport Hall of Fame in 2009, was amongst the second group of inductees to the Australian Sailing Hall of Fame in 2018 (along with Munich teammates Tom Anderson and John Shaw) and was awarded an OAM in June 2018 for his service to sailing.

Australian Sailing passes on its condolences to John's family and all of those he touched in his time. John is survived by his loving wife Sylvia, sons Ross, David, Bill and Ian and their families.

Related Articles

Australian Sailing Awards 2021
Belcher, Ryan and Darmanin create history Olympic champions Mat Belcher and Will Ryan along with Nacra 17 star Lisa Darmanin have created history at Australian Sailing Awards, taking out Male Sailor of the Year and Female Sailor of the Year awards for the fifth and fourth times respectively. Posted on 25 Nov
Iain Brambell set to lead sailing's path to Paris
Another significant step for the Australian Sailing Team Highly regarded international sports administrator and Olympian Iain Brambell has been charged with leading Australian Sailing's High Performance program after being announced as its new High Performance Director. Posted on 19 Nov
AST dominates Award nominations
The Australian Sailing Awards are quickly approaching The Australian Sailing Awards are quickly approaching, and Australian Sailing Team (AST) athletes and coaches have dominated the list of finalists for Male Sailor of the Year, Female Sailor of the Year and Coach of the Year categories. Posted on 16 Nov
Pathway to Paris looks strong for AST ILCA 7 squad
Conditions failed to deliver on the final day of racing at the ILCA 7 World Championships Conditions failed to deliver on the final day of racing at the ILCA 7 World Championships due to an uncontrollable wave state. Posted on 11 Nov
Australians move into top ten at ILCA 7 Worlds
Moving day in Barcelona, Spain It was moving day at the ILCA 7 World Championship, with a pair of Australian Sailing Team athletes making their way into the top ten on the penultimate day of the event in Barcelona, Spain. Posted on 10 Nov
Soldiers course tests skills at ILCA 7 Worlds
A tough day of racing for the Australian Sailing Team squad Racing recommenced on day four of the ILCA 7 World Championships following long delays earlier this week due to lack of wind. Posted on 9 Nov
Gordon Bray to host Australian Sailing Awards
Long-time Sydney Hobart commentator and legendary Rugby Union caller Long-time Sydney Hobart commentator and legendary Rugby Union caller Gordon Bray has been announced as the host of the 2021 Australian Sailing Awards. Posted on 29 Oct
Australian Sailing backs Paralympic reinstatement
Throwing its support behind World Sailing's campaign Australian Sailing, the governing body for the sport of sailing, has thrown its support behind World Sailing's campaign for sailing to be reinstated at the Paralympic Games in Los Angeles (USA) in 2028. Posted on 27 Oct
Australian Sailing Awards finalists announced
Volunteers, clubs and our Olympic sailing stars all in contention The finalists for the 2021 Australian Sailing Awards have been announced, with volunteers, clubs and our Olympic sailing stars all in contention for Australia's peak sailing awards. Posted on 20 Oct
Bringing our Olympic Sailors into your homes
Direct access to some of the Australian Olympic Sailing Team Over the past six weeks the heroes of Australia's recent Olympic campaign have been engaging with the sailing community through Australian Sailing's Olympic Webinar Series. Posted on 19 Oct
North Sails 2021 Innovation - FOOTERDoyle Sails 2020 - Built for Adventure 728x90 BOTTOMArmstrong-Suptonic-728x90-2 BOTTOM