Australia’s first Paralympic gold-medal winning sailors have been inducted into the country’s Sailing Hall of Fame
Twenty years after becoming home victors in the Sonar event at the Sydney Games, the crew of Noel Robins, Jamie Dunross and Graeme Martin will take their place in an institution that recognises exceptional performance and contributions at the highest level.
The Sydney 2000 Games marked the introduction of sailing to the Paralympics as a medal sport in two classes; the three-person Sonar and the one-person 2.4mR keelboat.
With experienced America's Cup skipper Robins as skipper, and Dunross and Martin as crew, the team finished top-four in all their counting Sonar races and went on to take the gold from the German and Canadian teams.
Robins sailed as a child, but a car crash at the age 21 rendered him partially quadriplegic from a spinal fracture.
His long list of sailing achievements included skippering Australia in the 1977 America’s Cup against Ted Turner’s Courageous.
At 60 he was the oldest sailor to win gold at the Paralympics.
In 2003, Robins died after being hit by a car.
Dunross became a quadriplegic after an explosion at a gold mine in Meekatharra.
In 2010, he became the first person with quadriplegia to circumnavigate Australia unassisted.
Martin, who had his left leg amputated after an accident while fighting fires, went on to win a bronze medal in the Sonar class at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing.
Australian Sailing President Daniel Belcher said: "It is the right time to be including our first Paralympic gold medal-winning team, 20 years to the day since that historic moment when they crossed the finishing line on Sydney Harbour.
"We are also thankful to the Australian National Maritime Museum for their support of the Australian Sailing Hall of Fame, a programme which is crucial to recognising our past and those who have contributed so much to it."