Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page 470 Gold medal winners at London 2012

by Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page on 18 Aug 2012
Mathew Belcher and Malcom Page celebrating their Gold Medal win in the Mens 470 - with coach Victor Kovalenko - his sixth Olympic Gold as a coach © Richard Gladwell http://www.richardgladwell.com
Malcolm Page, Australia's 470 Gold medallist at London 2012 explains:

Obviously Mat (Belcher) and I are top of the world at the moment. Winning the Gold Medal and becoming Olympic Champions in London was the mission we set four years ago, when we joined as a team. But the most satisfying thing was that we did it in such style. Coach Victor always said he wanted us to dominate the final year leading into the games.... which is exactly what we did.


Since the Olympic test event one year ago, we have won all regattas bar the Sail Melbourne World Cup event late last year. Since that moment we have been unstoppable. The Olympic games was our eighth regatta in a row, which included two World Championships and four World Cup events.

I think the biggest feeling we both felt upon victory after carrying the 'favourite and world number 1' target was relief. The week of competition was very difficult. We had strong winds for the majority of the competition which also made it very physical. This breeze range meant that we struggled all week with upwind speed compared to the British pair (the only boat though!) due to the pom crew being heavier than me. Thankfully once we got around the top mark and got the spinnaker up, we were able to go faster than them. So we had to use every little bit of wind strategy and tactics to keep ourselves in the game, so that we would be in the fight at the end of the week.

We went into the final race with a slim lead with a four point margin. The wind was predicted to be very light on this race day... and sure enough... we were waiting for close to five hours under a postponement flag before the races were cancelled for that day. So we had to come back the next day to try again. The winds were not a lot stronger, but it was sailable. The race started with the British pair having the Gold at the first mark. We thankfully pulled out the jets on the first downwind to take the lead from them. The race continued like this with the placings being in the balance, but we managed to get our noses ahead for the last spinnaker ride to the finish. We then kept everything simple and avoided any situations with other boats. After crossing the line in second, and GBR in fourth, we had secured the Gold Medal by eight points overall.

It was a really special moment, as this was the first time that any Australia sailor has won dual Gold Medals. Also we were the only people in the whole Australian Olympic Team to defend the title from the Beijing Olympics. This was obviously enough for the AOC Chef de Mission Nick Green to give me a call the morning after receiving our medals to ask if I would like the honour of carrying the Australian Flag and leading the whole AUS team into the closing ceremony. What an incredible honour.

Additionally, the Australian Olympic Sailing Team was amazing with delivering three Golds and one Silver medal in total. Eight of the 13 athletes that were selected in the team came home with some 'Bling'. These results made Australia the No.1 sailing team in the world, and No.1 sport for the whole Australian Olympic Team.

These results are a credit to the Australian Sailing Team (AST) and their system, and the people who are part of the process. The AST Sponsors, Government support and the AST Patrons have naturally been instrumental in this success, and I appreciate all that they have done for me and the team as a whole.

A few thank you's before I sign off. A huge thank you to Mathew as well as my personal sponsors, family and friends for all your support. Further I also owe thank you's to the other special people in our core team - to Sam Kivell and Will Ryan, thank you for being awesome training partners and great mates! And most importantly thank you to our super coach Victor 'Medal Maker' Kovalenko for master minding the last 15 years for me and 12 years for Mat, and all the success that I have enjoyed.

But we save the best to last, thanks to all of you for the never ending supply of support and belief over the last four years.

Mat and Malcolm

Southern Spars - 100InSunSport - NZBarz Optics - Kids range

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
The importance of being Alive
Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, the team have lined up for a lot of things, won plenty and nabbed a record, as well. She’s presently in a yard in the Philippines having a minor refit in readiness for the Australian season. It will commence with the upcoming Brisbane to Keppel and then head sharply into this year’s Hobart.
Posted on 10 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May