'The University of sailing' is how medal maker Victor Kovalenko describes the International 470 class, which will celebrate 50 years of sailing, on Saturday 16 March at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.
Gold at the 2012 470 Worlds Race Day 7 - International 470 Class 50 Year Celebrations in Australia
Since the French architect Andre Cornu conceived the 470 in 1963, it has gone from strength to strength. In 1976, the 470 first appeared in the Olympics as an open event, before the introduction of separate events for men and women in 1988.
For a class that is sailed in more than 61 nations around the world there is plenty to celebrate here in Australia! The International 470 is Australia’s most successful Olympic class and not surprisingly, Australia is the most successful Nation in the history of the class.
Many of Australia’s sailing legends cut their teeth in the 470 that held its first Australian Championship in 1975. A fleet of 58 boats contested the regatta that was won by Gary Gietz and Greg Johns. The following year Ian Brown teamed up with Ian Ruff to take out both the Nationals and the Olympic selection regatta. The pair went on to collect the Bronze medal at the Montreal 1976 Olympic games.
Just a few of the names that have spent time in the class include Nigel Abbott, Adam Beashel, Colin Beashel, Andrew Buckland, Teague Czislowski, Jim Cook, Anthony Dean, Adrian Finglas, Lachlan Gilbert, Peter Holmes, Jon Holmes, Andrew Hunn, Greg Hyde, Darren Jones, Denis Jones, Gordon Lucas, Ian (Fred) McCrossin, Owen McMahon, Michael Nash, Grant Simmer, Dan Smith, Chris Tillet, Bob Wilmot, Jamie Wilmot and Brett Young. Rising above this impressive list of legends are our Olympic Gold medalists Tom King and Mark Turnbull from Sydney 2000, Nathan Wilmot, gold medalist in Beijing 2008, Mathew Belcher, gold medalist in London 2012, and back-to-back double gold medalist Malcolm Page at Beijing and London.
Not to be out done the female Legends include Nicky Bethwaite, Addy Bucek, Adrienne Cahalan, Anna Coxon, Lyndal Coxon, Jeni Danks (nee Lidgett), Vanessa Dudley, Karyn Gojnich (nee Davis) and Genevieve White plus our golden girls Jenny Armstrong and Belinda Stowell, gold medalists in Sydney 2000, Elise Rechichi and Tessa Parkinson gold medalists in Beijing 2008.
The celebration of the 50-year anniversary will take place on Saturday March 16, 2013 at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron at Kirribilli.
The event will kick off with the Legends Cup. Malcolm Page has been signed on as the Race Director and will oversee the afternoon activities.
The 50 Year Celebration dinner will be held in the evening. Long-time supporter and friend of the class Alistair Murray, CEO of Ronstan, will MC the night.
Medalists from 1976, 2000, 2008 and 2012 as well as the medal maker Victor Kovalenko will all be there.
If you, or someone you know sailed a 470, this event is one not to be missed!
To find out more email 50yearsaus470(@)gmail.com or book your tickets online.