Peter O'Donnell

Athlete Biography

Pod O’Donnell and Dick Sargeant crewed for Bill Northam on Barrenjoey to win Australia’s first sailing gold medal, in the 5.5-metre class, at Tokyo 1964.  All three had been involved with the Jock Sturrock-skippered Gretel when it challenged for the America’s Cup in 1962.  Although he did not attend another Olympic Games after Tokyo, O’Donnell continued his involvement with the Australian and international sailing world during the ensuing decades.  He won the 1974 world championship in the 5.5-metres, with Norman Booth and Carl Ryves. 

In 1980, he won the International Etchells 22 world championship, with Richard Coxon and Dick Lawson, and was the Australian Yachtsman of the Year in 1979-80.  O’Donnell and Coxon were selected to go to Moscow 1980 in the Star class, but the sailing contingent withdrew from the Australian team due to the proposed boycott.  Barrenjoey went to Mexico City 1968, to be sailed by Bill Solomons into seventh place in the 5.5-metre class.