Belcher & Page golden season wrap

Friday, 03 September 2010

Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page, Australia’s Golden Boys, are returning from Europe having accomplished everything that Australia’s best hopes for an Olympic gold medal in sailing could hope for two years prior to the next Olympic Games in London. They have closed out Olympic Class sailing’s rigorous2010 calendar by claiming the Men’s 470 World Championship and the International Sailing Federation’s (ISAF) World Cup title. They are also in 1st place in the August ISAF rankings.

Belcher and Page led the charge to win ISAF’s World Cup in the 470 Men's Class from the start of the season when they won Sail Melbourne in January with a perfect score. They were unstoppable at regattas in Australia, having won every race and every regatta that they entered before moving on to the other Grade 1 and Grade 2 Olympic Class regattas in North America and Europe.Australia’s Golden Boys clinched the World Cup title with one regatta to spare.

“Our goal throughout the year was to improve our performance and peak at the 470 World Championship in Holland,” said skipper Mat Belcher.“The other results came as a consequence of our performance. It was my first 470 World Championship victory and Malcolm’s fifth. It was such a great feeling that I can understand why Malcolm has been sailing 470’s for 13 years at such a high level. We won the World Cup in June once we won the Kiel Week regatta. It was a thrill that gave us more momentum as we headedinto the World Championship.”

Malcolm Page reflected upon his fifth World Championship winning performance, “It was really special to win this year’s World Championship with Mat. Mat and I hadproven ourselves individually before we came together as a team. It has been especially rewarding to win the World Championship and have such great results during our first year as a team.”

Competitors who faceBelcher and Page in the medal races of all of the top 470 Class events were taken aback by this year’s results. Israel’s Gideon Kliger, who iscurrently ranked as the #2 470 Men’s skipper by ISAF and has been sailing against Page since the late 1990’s, commented recently, “I knew that they would be in the top ten this year. Both were good before theystarted sailing together, but now they are a very stable team. I think that they are as good now as Nathan (Wilmot) and Malcolm were when they won their Olympic gold medal, and there are still two more years to go before the Olympics.” Page won the 2008 Olympic gold medal with Nathan Wilmot and hopes to be the first Australian sailor to win back to back Olympic gold medals.

Peter Conde, the Australian Sailing Team’s High Performance Director had the final words to say on the 470 Men’steam and the entire Australian squad following the season’s final World Cup event in Weymouth, "Mat's and Mal's incredibly consistent performances throughout the year to win both the World Cup and World Championships have built an outstanding base for their ultimate goal ofOlympic Gold. Mal's quest to become Australia's first dual Olympic Sailing Gold Medalist is on track, as is the opportunity for Victor toa dd to his impressive Olympic coaching record."

"The Australian SailingTeam secured three gold medals and one silver in Olympic Classes and a Gold medal in Paralympic classes at Weymouth's Sail for Gold World Cup event. For us, this builds further confidence that our team is on track for success at the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics in terms of our athletes, coaches, and support team. But of course there is much more to do over the next two years and we intend to keep backing up this performance."

Lynn Fitzpatrick
See Sail for Gold images :

Mat Belcher &Malcolm Page 2009 – 2010 Accomplishments

Silver – Sail for Gold; Weymouth, Grade 2,August 2010

Gold – 470 World Championship, Scheveningen, July 2010

Gold – ISAF World Cup, Multiple Events,June 2010

Gold – Kiel Week, Kiel,Grade 1, June 2010

Silver – Delta Lloyd Regatta, Medemblik, Grade 1, May 2010

6th –Semaine Olympique Francaise, Hyeres; Grade1, April 2010

Gold – International 470 Spring Cup, Hyeres, Grade 2, April 2010

4th–Princess Sofia Regata, Palma, Grade 2,March 2010

Silver – Miami Olympic Classes Regatta, Miami, Grade 1, January 2010

Gold – 470 Australian National Championship, Grade 3, January 2010

Gold – Sail Melbourne, Melbourne, Grade 1,January 2010

Gold – Sail Sydney, Sydney, Grade 1, December 2009

4th–Sail for Gold, Weymouth, Grade 2, September 2009

Last Updated ( Friday, 03 September 2010 )