Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award for Australia's Mat Belcher
by Sail-World on 13 Nov 2013
The ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards, the highest award a sailor can receive in recognition of his/her outstanding achievements by the world of sailing, was awarded today to Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie (NZL) and Mathew Belcher (AUS).
Victor Kovalenko and Mat Belcher ISAF ©
The 2013 ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year was announced at a glittering award ceremony in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, as part of the ISAF Annual Conference on November 9-16.
Affectionately known as Team Jolly, London 2012 Women’s 470 Olympic Champions Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie announced their Rio 2016 intentions early in 2013 and success followed thereafter. Three regatta victories in a row set them on their way to a silver medal at the Open European Championship before they took an emphatic gold medal at the 470 World Championship in La Rochelle, France.
London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Mathew Belcher dominated the men’s 470 fleet with crew Malcolm Page in the lead up to the Games and has not stopped there. After a short break, Belcher announced a new campaign for 2016 with crew Will Ryan and returned to competition in December 2012 at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne. Success was immediate and a winning streak that started in November 2011 continued into 2013. Three ISAF Sailing World Cup wins, the European title and his fourth consecutive 470 World Champion title takes Belcher’s amazing winning streak to 17 consecutive regattas.
The winners were selected by the ISAF Member National Authorities (MNAs), the national governing bodies for sailing around the world, who vote for the one male and one female nominee who they believe most deserves the Award.
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 1 September 2012 to 31 August 2013.
The names that were nominated for the coveted and prestigious 2013 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award were:
Mathew Belcher (AUS) – Australian gold rush
François Gabart (FRA) – Macif Attack
Johnny Heineken (USA) – King of the Kites
Paul Larsen (AUS) – Rocket man
Ian Williams (GBR) – Man of the match
Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie (NZL) – Conquering Kiwis
Deneen Demourkas (USA) – Farr too good
Erika Heineken (USA) – Queen of the Kites
Raiya Al Habsi (OMA) – Trail blazing Omani