Please select your home edition
Edition
Kilwell - 3

World Sailor of the Year - Olympic Gold Medallist, Belcher, nominated

by Rob Mundle on 2 Oct 2013
Mat Belcher Rob Mundle
The names of all nominees for Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2013 were released today. When it comes to current international sporting success there are few athletes on the world stage who could match the achievements of Australian Olympic sailing gold medallist, Mat Belcher.

In the past two years he has not been beaten in the intensely competitive Olympic 470 dinghy class – and he is working hard to keep it that way until after the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Apart from winning Olympic gold in the 470 class in London last year, Belcher has won every one of the last 17 major class championships he has contested around the world. Thisincludes four consecutive world championships and two European championships. He has been at the top of the world rankings in the class for almost three years.

Now, the Gold Coast-based sailor is hoping it will be third time lucky when it comes to being named this year’s International Sailing Federation’s Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2013. For an unprecedented third time in the past four years Belcher has been named as one of the five contenders for the prestigious award.

The World Sailor of the Year award will be voted on by national sailing bodies representing 133 countries. The winner will be announced at a spectacular event in Oman on November 12. The other contenders are François Gabart (FRA), the youngest ever winner of the Vendée Globe round the world race; kiteboard course racing champion Johnny Heineken (USA); Paul Larsen (AUS), the world sailing speed record holder; and the 2012 match racing World Champion, Ian Williams (GBR).

‘To become Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2013 would crown what has been an amazing journey through sailing for me in recent years,’ Belcher said after being advised by the International Sailing Federation he was a contender for the award. ‘It would also make 2013 an even more memorable year personally as my wife, Rike, and I became parents to a baby boy, Anton, just a few weeks ago.’

With his long-time crewman, Malcolm Page, having retired from competitive sailing following the gold medal victory in London, Belcher has secured the services of lanky 24-year-old, Will Ryan, from Lake Macquarie, NSW, as crew for the 470. The new combination is already off to an impressive start, winning the2013 World and Open European championship as well as every other event where they have sailed together.

Now back in Australia, Belcher and Ryan are already locked into preparation for the next Olympics. They are currently part of an extensive training program being conducted out of Southport Yacht Club, on the Gold Coast, by Yachting Australia’s head coach, Victor Kovalenko, the world’s most successful Olympic sailing coach.
Southern Spars - 100Lancer Lasts LongerHood Sails

Related Articles

Oman Air win Act 3 to extend overall Extreme Sailing Series™ lead
Oman Air were today crowned kings of Act 3 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ following a tense finale 2016 Extreme Sailing Series - Oman Air were today crowned kings of Act 3 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ following a tense finale that saw them only just manage to hold off a late charge from rivals Red Bull Sailing Team.
Posted today at 1:12 am
Surprise tie at RORC IRC National Championship
On a slightly more serene Sunday the race management team was able to hold one windward-leeward in 8-15 knots winds. This year's IRC National Championship, the 14th since the Royal Ocean Racing Club launched its handicap rule in 2000, had the unusual distinction of joint winners in Adam Gosling's brand new JPK 10.80 Yes! (winner of IRC Two) and the French consortium-owned A35, Dunkerque - Les Dunes de Flandre, (which topped IRC Three).
Posted on 26 Jun
Oman Air tightens grip on 2016 Extreme Sailing Series leaderboard
They stretched their lead at the top of the season table to three points over second placed Red Bull Sailing Team. Morgan Larson’s crew notched up ten outright wins from 29 races with another nine podium places to add to the mix, reaffirming their status as the most consistent team in the fleet and confirming them as Cardiff champions.
Posted on 26 Jun
Superyacht Cup 2016 – Final day images by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images from final day. Photographer Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images from final day.
Posted on 26 Jun
Burling and Tuke are Box Office Stars of Kieler Woch’s Super Sunday
The Charles brothers take second and Japan’s Daichi Takayama and Akira Takayanagi finished third. The grand finale to the world’s biggest sailing regatta, Super Sunday gave the huge crowds enough to cheer about in the warm sunshine.
Posted on 26 Jun
470 Junior Worlds – Spanish women in gold, Spanish men in silver
Before the start of the Medal Race of the women, the podium places were not decided yet. The last of the five racing days sees another Japanese team make it to the podium.
Posted on 26 Jun
Tasmanian Yachting Awards – Matt Bugg instant Male Sailor of the Year
att Bugg yesterday was named 2016 Tasmanian Male Sailor of the Year – just one hour after flying back to Hobart. att Bugg yesterday was named 2016 Tasmanian Male Sailor of the Year – just one hour after flying back to Hobart following his final on-the-water training at Rio in preparation for the Paralympic Games.
Posted on 26 Jun
Ouch!
When the kite’s up, you never look back. Just look at all the videos running around of the wicked Chinese gybes When the kite’s up, you never look back. Just look at all the videos running around of the wicked Chinese gybes that result from even a momentary lapse in concentration on the primary task. Remember, it’s someone else’s job. So grab the helm for second will you? Yours! Cheers.
Posted on 26 Jun
Clipper Race fleet makes a crucial decision to miss the Scoring Gate
The brakes have been put on the rollercoaster ride for now after the teams made the turn north around Ice Box perimeter. The brakes have been put on the rollercoaster ride for now after the teams made the turn north around the Ice Box perimeter and now find themselves caught in the lighter winds of the North Atlantic High, but they are at least now pointing towards finish destination Derry-Londonderry.
Posted on 26 Jun
Perfect day for light air lovers in Land Rover Winter Series
Race eight was for those whose crews thrive in light fluky airs and so those boats prospered in the CYCA hosted series. Race eight was one for those whose boat and crews thrive in light fluky airs and so those boats prospered in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia hosted series today.
Posted on 26 Jun