Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

London Olympics 201 - Belcher and Page win Gold in the Men's 470 class

by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor on 10 Aug 2012
Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) took Gold in the Men’s 470 event in the London Olympics 2012. onEdition © http://www.onEdition.com
Ask any sailor about ideal racing conditions and the answer is universal—the more wind the merrier (within reason)! Why? Light-air racing tests and challenges racers in unique ways as crucial fractions of a knot are earned and lost with micro adjustments in body position, sail trim and, of course, tactics. For the Gold medal-winning Australian Men’s 470 team of Matthew Belcher and Malcolm Page, however, today was their opportunity to prove to the world that they are equally quick in the sticky, light stuff as they are in a proper Aussie blow.

While there had been some early fears that the wind gods might rob the Men’s 470 fleet of a medal race, the RC was successfully able to dispatch the fleet on a Windward-Leeward course (twice around), thus fulfilling many sailor’s Olympic dreams.

As was previously reported, today’s Gold and Silver medal battle came down to the story of two teams, the Aussies and the British-flagged team of Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell. The Brits crossed the starting line with a small points deficit, meaning that the only way that Patience and Bithell could claim the top step of the podium was to not only finish ahead of their antipodean rivals, but to also ensure that at least one other boat finished between their stern and the Aussies’ bow.

The Australian team took control of the race from the get-go, sailing slightly faster than their British rivals on all legs in the wispy air. While the Brits wisely tried to engage Belcher and Page in a series of tacking duels, this racecourse tomfoolery didn’t add up to anything strategically useful (although it did provide for fantastic spectator moments for the crowds assembled on Nothe Hill, and for the countless fans watching on television).


Croatia’s Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic crossed the finishing line four seconds ahead of Belcher and Page to claim the bullet, while the Patience and Bithell finished 12 seconds astern of their Gold-medal rivals. The Argentinean-flagged team of Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente finished in third place, thus cementing their spot on the podium’s third tier and earning their Olympic Bronze medal.

To celebrate, the Aussies and the Brits both intentionally capsized and took 'victory swims', once they were clear of the finishing area. Once their masts were again vertical, all three medal winners took their prerequisite victory lap past the cheering crowds on Nothe Hill (which, incidentally, included the parents of both the newly minted Gold and Silver medalist teams) before heading into the dinghy park for more celebrations.

Please stay tuned for more news from the Men’s 470 class, including quotes from the medal winners and plenty of racecourse images from today’s medal-race contest.

Bakewell-White Yacht Designupffront 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - America's Cup champ says Paralympic racing is closest ever
Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar keelboat class at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The regatta is being held in Guanabara Bay on three of the courses used for the Olympic Sailing Regatta in August.
Posted on 13 Sep
A Q&A with Peter Bresnan ONE Palma’s founder and director
Sail-World interviewed ONE Palma’s founder Peter Bresnan to learn about the company’s partnership with McConaghy Boats For the past eight years, ONE Palma (formerly OneSails Spain) has been building a strong name, first as a sailmaker and later with refit work. Recently, ONE Palma and McConaghy Boats-legendary boatbuilders who have crafted some of the planet’s fastest sailboats-entered a business partnership. I caught up with Peter Bresnan, ONE Palma’s founder and director, to learn more about this new direction.
Posted on 2 Sep
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ train late on the Waitemata Harbour
Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. The team were sailing their recently launched AC45 Surrogate test boat which features an articulated rudder gantry - taking the AC45 close to the geometry of the AC50 to be used in the 2017 America's Cup.
Posted on 1 Sep
Dateline Rio - Sailing Olympics review - as good as it gets?
The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The weather was better than Weymouth and Qingdao, the courses more varied, but from a working media perspective, it was the people running the Rio regatta who really made the difference.
Posted on 26 Aug
Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted on 25 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images of the penultimate race in the Finns - Scott wins
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn, in what potentially could have been Giles Scott's (GBR) Gold medal winning race. In the end, the current world champion won in style.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images from the Mens RS:X Medal Race
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class won before the race by Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) without needing points from the Medal Race. Nick Dempsey (GBR) was second on a similar basis.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Sailors talk of Life at the Extreme on the Atlantic Ocean
Certainly the Volvo Ocean Race catchcry of Life at the Extreme is not a phrase associated with the Sailing Olympics. The 470 crews were suffering the mixed emotions of survival of an extreme test by nature, the cold, and for some elation at their placings, after Thursday's battle for survival. In conditions that looked more out of the Volvo Ocean Race, than an Olympic sailing regatta, crews battled 20kt plus winds and Atlantic Ocean rollers that towered up to four metres.
Posted on 13 Aug
Rio Olympics - Fourth gallery of images the fearsome Niteroi course
Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds. believe it or not the sea conditions were worse inshore as the fleet encountered the backwashed Atlantic rollers
Posted on 12 Aug
Rio 2016 - Third image gallery of 470's braving the Atlantic Ocean
Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds
Posted on 12 Aug