by Craig Heydon
Aussie sailors Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page have christened their new 470 Practical Magic, with the assistance of Marit Bouwmeester, following an online competition.
Marit Bouwmeester christening Belcher and Page’s 470 in Spain
The public was invited to choose from five Kidman movies with Practical Magic taking 39 per cent of the vote ahead of Room to Move which had 28 per cent with The Invasion, Bewitched and Nine finishing third, fourth and fifth respectively. The winning vote was made by Paul Burns of Wollongong, with Paul winning an Audi of his choice for a week.
Belcher and Page name all of their 470s after Nicole Kidman movies, in a tradition which stretches back eight years to when Page and former skipper Nathan Wilmot campaigned Bangkok Hilton. The tradition will continue with Practical Magic, with Belcher and Page to campaign the boat in their preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Games. 'When we decided to do the competition we wanted to get the public involved and get more people following our campaign and looking at the number of entries it’s definitely achieved that,' said Belcher.
'We’re really happy with the choice of Practical Magic, to be honest I think it was our coach Victor’s favourite which helps!' The pair christened the boat in Palma, Spain, where they are preparing for round three of the ISAF Sailing World Cup that begins there on March 31. 'We had the boat christened by Dutch Laser Radial sailor Marit Bouwmeester who is also preparing for the World Cup round in Palma,' said Page.
'Marit won the 2011 Laser Radial World Championship in Perth on the same day as we did and she a great character so hopefully she’ll bring some good luck to the boat.' Belcher and Page are looking forward to hitting the water and beginning racing in Practical Magic. 'We’ve been working hard to get to this stage with our equipment,' said Page.
'It’s a huge honour to be representing our country this year and to be able to continue our boat naming tradition and have the extra support of a great Aussie like Nicole is an added advantage, we’ve got exciting times ahead.'
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