Australian favourite for Rolex World Sailor of the Year
by Rob Kothe on 4 Oct 2013
ISAF received nominations for the 2013 Awards from across the world for sailors representing all aspects of the sport. The nominees are put forward based on achievements made during the qualifying period from 1st September 2012 to 31 August 2013.
Mat Belcher and Will Ryan on their way to two race wins - ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres 2013 Thom Touw © http://www.thomtouw.com
Only one nominee wins in both the male and female categories. The names vying for the coveted and prestigious 2013 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award are:
Mathew Belcher (AUS), François Gabart (FRA), Johnny Heineken (USA), Paul Larsen (AUS), Ian Williams (GBR).
Jo Aleh & Olivia Powrie (NZL), Deneen Demourkas (USA), Erika Heineken (USA), Raiya Al Habsi (OMA) – Trail blazing Omani
While we'd love to see Paul Larsen, the fastest sailor in the world take the honours, Mat Belcher has had an amazing year.
Across the world sailing scene, in any class, it seems no-one has ever won 17 regattas in a row.
Having dominated the Men's 470 class in the build-up to London 2012 with Malcolm Page the pair took a deserved gold medal in Weymouth. Page retired from the class and Mat started a new campaign for 2016 with crew Will Ryan.
The streak that started at eight wins from the Belcher and Page partnership turned to nine in December 2012 at ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne, with newbie Ryan.
Three victories flowed on Australian waters before the Belcher took out the ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma and Hyères ahead of the Delta Lloyd Regatta and Open European Championship and the 2013 470 Worlds.
Belcher's win at the 470 Worlds in La Rochelle, France was his fourth successive World title, the first time the feat had ever been achieved in the class.
Can anyone defeat the Australian in the build-up to Rio 2016? Only time will tell but Belcher's dominance is incredible.
We look forward to Matt and Will continuing the run at the Sailing World Cup in Melbourne.