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Doyle Sails New Zealand

London Olympics 2012 - 470 World Champions challenged

by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team on 3 Aug 2012
Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) 470 Men August 1, 2012 - Weymouth, England - © Richard Gladwell www.richardgladwell.com
Australia’s Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page were the red hot favourites to win Olympic Gold in the 470 class. But the first day of the Weymouth regatta did not turn out as planned, as the duo explained post racing.

Malcolm Page opened his explanation ‘A few little schoolboy errors if you want to call it that, from day one. That's was the disappointing thing for us.

'The only time we have seen ourselves do that was when we were a really new team in 2009 at the World Championships. That year and we were lacking team work and time together, so to do it on day one of the Olympics is a little disappointing.

'Mat and I have always focused on our performance and the results were ok. We have very high expectations and we have had a great year. We are too experienced to make those mistakes.

'The first race we hit the top mark and it didn't really cost us anything in results.

‘In the second race we were over early. We fought back and we were actually fifth the last top mark and then I fouled the Italian guy. We just run around the top mark and we are raising our spinnaker and suddenly the Italians were there and we were on port tack.

'We weren't expecting it and we should have seen him. We did a couple more spins and then recomposed and kept going.

'Just not really seeing the boat - that's a pretty basic error. It could cost us quite dearly. We are disappointed with that.

'We had great speed and tomorrow our aim will be to improve our performance and get back to our usual rhythm.

‘We are angry with ourselves - we have high standards. We have not put the knife into our own veins or each other's yet.

‘There is a positive element though. Although we weren’t happy with our performance, we fought back.

'It is just day one and there is a long way to go. There is another seven days of competition. We have to be patient and what we will do tomorrow is be ourselves, which we were not today.'

Mathew Belcher said ‘Today’s start was actually a lot better that when we started the Olympic Test event, here is Weymouth. So we are one up on that.

'It’s nice to have day one out. We are looking forward to just settling things down and getting into our rhythm. One day at a time.’
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