Please select your home edition
Edition
Festival of Sails 2017

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.
Lancer Not EqualWildwind 2016 660x82Doyle Sails NZ - Never Look Back

Related Articles

Jules Verne Trophy – IDEC Sport expected in Brest on Thursday
The last few hours in the trade winds acted as a reminder that IDEC Sport needs to be tamed at times. The last few hours in the trade winds acted as a reminder that IDEC Sport needs to be tamed at times to avoid taking risks and suffering damage.
Posted today at 9:47 pm
Vendée Globe – Slow home run for Beyou
The quiet, still weather and pleasant winter sunshine has brought out huge Sunday crowds to the race village. The quiet, still weather and pleasant winter sunshine has brought out huge Sunday crowds to the race village pontoons at Port Olona, Les Sables d’Olonne.
Posted today at 9:02 pm
Jules Verne Trophy – Back in the trade winds and they're off again
This morning after 37 days at sea since leaving Brest, the crew on IDEC Sport is back up to steady speeds of 26-28 knots This morning after 37 days at sea since leaving Brest, the crew on IDEC Sport is back up to steady speeds of 26-28 knots.
Posted today at 4:39 pm
The closest three way battle in the history of Vendee Globe
Off the Cape Verde Islands, Louis Burton has finally got out of the Doldrums after three long days on a very slow course Jean-Pierre Dick, Yann Eliès and Jean Le Cam are engaged in the closest three way battle in the history of the solo round the world race as they pass the Azores archipelago between Graciosa and Florès on the heels of a vigorous depression giving them 30kts southerly winds.
Posted today at 3:23 pm
Glamour Super Sunday at Festival of Sails 2017
A multitude of cruising divisions were sent on a medium distance race from inner Corio Bay to outer. In the Rating Series division 1, Nick Bartels’ Cookson 50 Terra Firma (VIC) is ahead on the pointscore and hoping for another light day to put more distance between him and his pedigreed challengers.
Posted today at 9:29 am
Sailing crew from Darwin take second place in Passage Race at 2017 FoS
Darwin sailor Peter Bracken has one less thing to worry about out on water at Festival of Sails this week – crocodiles. Darwin sailor Peter Bracken has one less thing to worry about out on the water at the Festival of Sails this week – crocodiles.
Posted today at 5:42 am
New record at Mount Gay Round Barbados Race
Andy Budgen sailing Mach 2 foiling Intl Moth Nano Project completed 60nm Mount Gay Round Barbados Race at a record pace Andy Budgen sailing his Mach 2 foiling International Moth Nano Project completed the 60nm Mount Gay Round Barbados Race at a record pace of 4 hours, 23 minutes, 18 seconds, to established the Absolute Foiling Monohull record. He also broke his own personal record time from a few years ago when he sailed his VO70 Monster Project into the record books for the Absolute Monohull Record.
Posted today at 2:28 am
Manly 16' Skiff Club Race - Heat 3 Club Championships - Video
With the afternoon breeze fading to 12-15 knots, Bow Caddy spied the Manly 16’ skiffs getting ready for Heat 3 of the With the afternoon breeze fading to 12-15 knots, Bow Caddy spied the Manly 16 ’skiffs getting ready for Heat 3 of the Club Championships with the starting line in Manly Cove. We caught some of the action as the fleet straight lined the bottom mark with a few of the port tackers getting a nasty surprise from those approaching on a late starboard gybe.
Posted today at 12:50 am
Day 77 – Ninety percent of Vendée Globe fleet now back in Atlantic
With Banque Populaire and Hugo Boss tied up to the dock in Les Sables d'Olonne sixteen skippers remain at sea today With Le Cléac'h's Banque Populaire and second-placed Alex Thomson's Hugo Boss tied up to the dock in Les Sables d'Olonne sixteen skippers remain at sea today – and fourteen of them are now in the Atlantic.
Posted on 21 Jan
Vendee Globe - Romain Attansio at the Horn
Romain Attanasio rounded Cape Horn, the third of the legendary capes in the Vendée Globe at 2043hrs UTC on Friday Romain Attanasio (Famille Mary-Étamine du Lys) rounded Cape Horn, the third of the legendary capes in the Vendée Globe at 2043hrs UTC on Friday after 75 days 8 hours and 41 minutes of racing. Only Dutchman Pieter Heerema and Frenchman Sébastien Destremau are still sailing in the Pacific.
Posted on 21 Jan