sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : 2013 ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year announced in Oman
2013 ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year announced in Oman


'From left Lionel Schurch, Rolex SA; Jo Aleh & Polly Powrie, female winners; HM King Constantine and Mat Belcher, male winner'    © Rolex/ Kurt Arrigo

Australian Mathew Belcher and New Zealanders Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie were named male and female winners of the 2013 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards during a ceremony held in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman on Tuesday 12 November.

Mather Belcher - Class and consistency

Mathew Belcher from Queensland, Australia, has been awarded the coveted title of ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year. Also nominated in 2010 and 2012, Belcher’s achievement is testament to his excellence and remarkable consistency.

'It means a lot. To come away and to get the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year award is phenomenal. It’s great recognition for this year and the efforts we’ve put in and results we’ve achieved,' said Belcher, who has gained an unprecedented level of success racing in the 470 Class – a 4.7 metre (15.4 ft) dinghy sailed the world over. Belcher is the first male 470 skipper to win the award.

The pinnacle of recognition from the sport, the award crowns a remarkable period for the 31-year old. In August this year, Belcher claimed an unmatched fourth consecutive 470 world championship title with victory on the waters off La Rochelle, France. World championship success completed a hugely successful 2012-13 season which included a European title (in Formia, Italy) and three ISAF Sailing World Cup victories. Clear evidence that Belcher had not chosen to rest on his laurels following last year’s career highlight - Olympic gold in London. His winning run as a 470 skipper now stretches to a remarkable 17 consecutive regatta victories.

Success follows years of hard, patient work. Belcher, who began sailing at the age of 7 and has been part of the Australian sailing team since 1999, competed in the Class for almost a decade before winning his first world championship title in 2010 alongside longtime former crewmate Malcolm Page. The win in The Hague, Netherlands was the catalyst for his remarkable rise - bar one brief moment Belcher has led the 470 world rankings since August 2010.

The retirement of Page after the 2012 Games signalled a period of reflection for Belcher. 'After London 2012 making the decision to campaign again for Rio 2016 took some time,' he admitted. 'Malcolm and I spent more time together than we did with our wives! Everyday you’re communicating a common goal and sharing that experience. It’s hard when that stops. It was a bit of a shock but then it was a challenge to campaign for Rio.' Once the decision to continue was made, the Gold Coast native teamed up with a new crew in Will Ryan. As results testify, the adjustment has been impressively smooth, confirmed by their world championship win this summer. 'Will is an amazing sailor and I knew he was ready to replace Mal (Page) in the boat. Will and I did quite a bit of sailing together before London so it made the transition a bit easier.'

Seventeen consecutive regatta victories – stretching from November 2011 – is an outstanding and rare achievement in such a fiercely contested, unpredictable sport. 'The winning run has been amazing, something that I'm personally really proud of,' reflected the affable Belcher, who is married to German Olympic sailor Friederike Belcher. 'To be able to do it with two different crews has been really rewarding and it shows the depth we have in the Australian 470 system and in our preparations and planning to constantly perform.'

Each victory has brought increased responsibility, greater expectation. 'Most people don’t realise how much pressure this generates. As the regattas build up, the pressure compounds,' admitted Belcher. 'The fleet starts to focus more on you and you place more pressure on yourself to perform. The hardest part of this streak has been to remain stable, focused and motivated to perform every day you hit the water. These 17 events are spread over two years and a lot of credit has to go to our support team and coach for keeping us focused on the target.'

The Belcher team extends beyond two men in a 4.7m boat. World-renowned coach Victor Kovalenko, the mastermind behind the three decades of Australian sailing success, has played a crucial role in the athlete’s development and in instilling this winning habit. 'Over the past 14 years, Victor has been there for me to guide me in the right direction both in my sailing career and personal life. We have a great friendship and a lot of trust.'

'This award is like the black belt of the sport of sailing. It’s top recognition. I have watched Mathew for many years in training, in competition, under pressure, in study, in normal life, when’s he’s talking to people. He is a very balanced, humble person. He deserves this success,' reflected a proud Kovalenko.

Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie - Truimphant Team Jolly

Like Belcher, Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, affectionately known as Team Jolly, are the current Olympic and World 470 Class champions. Their success is also a product of sheer dedication and impressive teamwork. 'We’re a little bit shocked to be up here,' said Aleh on receiving the award. 'We’re really excited to be part of this and honoured to be part of group.' 'We’ve not done this alone and had some wonderful people behind us who have been truly supportive of us throughout our sailing careers,' added Powrie.

Skipper Aleh, drawn to sailing while watching New Zealand win the 1995 America’s Cup, and crew Powrie, for whom sailing is part of her family heritage, have much in common having commenced their sailing adventure at the same time, in the same boat, at the same location: in the late 1990s, sailing Optimists at the Kohimarama Yacht Club in their hometown of Auckland.

It was not until the Women’s 420 World Championship in 2007 (when, fittingly, they won the title in Auckland) that they sailed together at a professional level. 'We competed against each other through junior and youth competitions,' said Powrie, adding, 'and then I thought if you can’t beat them, join them!'

Afterwards, Aleh briefly continued to pursue a career in single-handed sailing, competing for New Zealand in Laser Radial at the Beijing Olympics, finishing in seventh place.

Their mutual transition to the 470 Class occurred shortly after Beijing, as they joined forces for London 2012. On route to their main goal – Olympic gold – they claimed two commendable podium finishes at the 470 world championships (silver in 2010, bronze 2011), before hitting top form in time for London 2012.

The Olympic Sailing Competition in Weymouth and Portland went down to the wire. Ahead of the final Medal Race, Team Jolly were level on points with British hopefuls Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark. Keeping their cool and making a more astute tactical move at the start, they won the final race by a huge margin. 'We had a goal for four years and it was a great thing to be able to achieve it. Going into that day we had a job to do and we’re glad we were able to do it,' explained Powrie. 'The best part of that day was being lifted in the boat out of the water by our team mates!'

The duo’s achievement was well received in New Zealand, ending a dinghy-sailing gold drought of 28 years (following Russell Coutts’s success in Los Angeles 1984). Despite their success, self-deprecation is part of the Team Jolly persona. Their boat is affectionately dubbed ‘Muppet’ so called because previously ‘we have made some silly calls in the past at certain regattas and because we sail like muppets occasionally.’

Following their London 2012 triumph, Team Jolly decided to mount a defence of their Olympic title in Rio in 2016. 'We've got Olympic selection next year and that's a massive hurdle to get through. From there it's a similar program with World Championships and World Cups through to Rio,' said Powrie. In the meantime, success has continued to follow. Three regatta victories early in 2013 set them on their way to a silver medal at the Open European Championship. In August they went one better and finally claimed that elusive 470 world championship title, again dominating the final match race. 'Olympic gold has been a two part thing. It put pressure on us because we want to keep proving we can do well. At the World Championship we wanted to prove that we weren’t a one hit wonder,' reflected Aleh.

Success saw the pair nominated ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year. 'Upon reading the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards past recipient list I felt truly honoured to even be considered to be in the same league as so many of the amazing sailors that I have looked up to over the years,' said Aleh.
Polly Powrie & Jo Aleh, female winners

Recognition in both the male and female categories caps a memorable year for the 470 Class, fittingly in the year it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Todd Harris and double Olympic gold medallist and World Sailor of the Year in 2000, Shirley Robertson, co-hosted the ceremony. The Awards were presented by ISAF President of Honour HM King Constantine and Lionel Schurch of Rolex SA. Both winners were presented with a Rolex timepiece and an ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year trophy.

2013 AWARDS

The ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards takes place during the International Sailing Federation’s (ISAF) Annual Conference, which this year was held in Muscat, Oman. The ceremony, attended by international sailing stars, key decision makers and sponsors is a true celebration of the sport.

The annual Awards, sponsored by Rolex since 2001, are the highest honour a sailor can receive and is recognition of achievement in a twelve-month period, in this case from 1 September 2012 to 31 August 2013.

Competition for the 2013 Awards was formidable, with four outstanding female and five equally exceptional male candidates short-listed from a list of nominations made by the public at large. The winners were decided by the votes of the over 130 Member National Authorities of ISAF. Suspense was maintained until the very last minute, with the nominees and guests unaware who had won until the official announcement itself.

The Nominees

The full list of names vying for the coveted and prestigious 2013 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards were:

Male

Mathew Belcher (AUS) – Men’s 470 World & Olympic Champion
François Gabart (FRA) – IMOCA World Champion & 2012-13 Vendée Globe Winner
Johnny Heineken (USA) – Kiteboarding World 1 & 2012 Men’s Course Racing World Champion
Paul Larsen (AUS) – Vestas Sailrocket 2 Outright Speed Record
Ian Williams (GBR) – Match Racing 2012 Match Racing World Champion
World 1 Open Match Racer for 16 consecutive releases starting in January 2012

Female

Jo Aleh & Olivia Powrie (NZL) – Women’s 470 World & Olympic Champions
Deneen Demourkas (USA) – Farr 30 2013 World Champion – third consecutive title
Erika Heineken (USA) – Kiteboarding 2012 Course Racing World Champion
Raiya Al Habsi (OMA) – First Omani Woman To Sail in the Rolex Fastnet Race


by Rolex

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=116645

10:40 AM Wed 13 Nov 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Related News Stories:

13 Nov 2013  Images from the Rolex ISAF World Sailor of the Year awards in Oman
13 Nov 2013  Rolex ISAF World Sailor of the Year: Awards to Australian and Kiwis
13 Nov 2013  EUROSAF supports major change in Elite sailing
12 Nov 2013  ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year: Third time lucky for Belcher?
12 Nov 2013  ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards: Family affair in Muscat






News - USA and the World

On a high octane first day of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami on Monday (26 January) Giles Scott, Alison Young and the Paralympian Sonar trio of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas saw the best possible start to their 2015 sailing seasons with double race victories. ... [more]  

On the opening day of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, presented by Sunbrella, it was sunny and bright. It was storming and raining sideways. It was sunny and bright. ... [more]  

On Day 1 of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella, America's premier Olympic and Paralympic classes regatta, featured the full range of what sailing in Miami has to offer. Over 850 sailors enjoyed strong breeze for the duration of the day, in addition to a brief but powerful rainstorm. ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Giles Scott (GBR) said last week that he hoped his unbeaten run would continue, and based on Monday’s form at the Sailing World Cup Miami, the 2014 World and European Finn Champion is giving it a pretty good shot ... [more]  

ISAF Olympic classes regatta Miami 2015 images provided by photographer Ingrid Abery. ... [more]  

As the Barcelona World Race leaders race to the Crozet Islands, once again their paths have diverged – Neutrogena around 200 miles to the south-west of first-placed Cheminées Poujoulat on the water, and gaining around 40 miles in the past 24 hours. ... [more]  

For the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will announce on Saturday (31 January) at 10:00 CET the final line-up of sports. ... [more]  

On the opening day of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, presented by Sunbrella, it was sunny and bright. It was storming and raining sideways. It was sunny and bright. ... [more]  

RC44 World Championship Leg 1 gets underway on 24th March until 29th March 2015. The RC 44 Class is unlike any 40 foot sailing yacht ever designed, and the reason for that is simple. She is a high performance one design yacht created for top level racing in international regattas. If one was to compare this concept to racing cars, then we would be talking about the F1, NASCAR or similar. ... [more]  

Team Alvimedica won a Leg 3 podium place in China after some of the closest racing ever seen in the history of the Volvo Ocean Race. The Turkish-American team protected their position in the final stretch to Sanya, carefully navigating a course peppered with fishing boats along the Vietnamese coast and across the South China Sea to cap off a well-sailed leg to clinch third. ... [more]  

The finish of Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race in Sanya, China just before noon on January 27, 2015 marked an unbelievable end to a magnificent leg for Dongfeng Race Team. After leading the fleet virtually all the way from Abu Dhabi to Sanya in China, over more than 5,000 miles of intense ocean racing, Dongfeng finally crossed the finish line in first place ... [more]  

Winner of Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Dongfeng, have released footage taken from a drone launched from the Volvo Ocean Race yacht, as she sails in light airs on the last days of Leg 3 of the race. It is believed to be the first time a drone, launched from a competitor, has been used in a major ocean race. ... [more]  

World sailing history was created earlier today when Dongfeng Race Team became the first Chinese yacht to have a win in a premier trans-ocean racing event. Her win was also a first in the 41-year history of the Volvo Ocean Race. At 1131hrs UTC the Chinese flagged entry emphatically won Leg 3 in their home port of Sanya to take the overall leadin the 40,000nm event with six stages to go. ... [more]  

On the morning of the 26th of January, the Maersk Line ship MV Stockholm delivered the Team Vestas Wind's damaged VO65 to the port in Genoa, Italy. From here she will be taken to the Persico building facilty where the rebuild of the wrecked boat will be undertaken. The team's goal is to rejoin the race in Lisbon, Portugal in June, 2015. ... [more]  

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is considering backing Sir Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup bid, in a move that would propel the fortunes of the Olympic gold medallist yet further. Sir Ben is believed to have asked the Virgin billionaire to consider backing the venture when he and his new wife, Georgie Thompson, spent time on Sir Richard’s Necker Island in January. ... [more]  

To the 91st 2015 Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race significant changes have been made in order to enhance the race experience, and by the looks of it, sailors are embracing them wholeheartedly. ... [more]  

Alpari World Match Racing Tour - Monsoon Cup preview by Alpari World Match Racing Tour
The final event of the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour, Monsoon Cup Malaysia, is to take place in its new home of Johor, the southernmost state of Malaysia, over 10th-14th February. In addition to being the grand finale of the Tour, the event will also see the 2014 ISAF Match Racing World Champion crowned. ... [more]  

In the Barcelona World Race the two lead boats are preparing for a gruelling 3,500-mile game of chase across the Southern Ocean, until the next natural gateway of the course, Cape Leeuwin in south-west Australia. ... [more]  

Quantum Key West Race Week provided the opportunity for the GC32s to make a spectacular debut in the USA. During the five days of racing held in balmy temperatures off the southernmost tip of Florida, crews experienced a range of conditions. ... [more]  

40 year old Charles Caudrelier the skipper of race leader Dongfeng was a major figure of the winning French team Groupama in 2011-12 . With the Dongfeng team now approaching Sanya, almost unstoppable, its worthwhile hearing from Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad who is hugely pleased with the current on water situation. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race. The northerly drag race continues, with the stable light wind forecast to drop slightly. The boats have all remained in position, if anything cementing their places with gaps between them increasing slightly through the night. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - Sailing in a straight line was never supposed to be as tense as this. We’ve been pointing at Sanya for almost a day now and fortunately, Alvimedica, MAPFRE, and Brunel far enough back to not be in AIS range anymore. The problem is they’re not in AIS range anymore. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - After what can only be described as a frustrating few days of wind and current conditions in the Malacca Strait, the shipping lanes we had to pass were a bit more entertaining as it was upwind which meant some tacking. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 3 Finish - Video - Delayed feed by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Tune in here to see the finish of Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean race in Sanya. Will sailing history be made? Can Dongfeng become the first Chinese flagged yacht to win a Leg in a Round the World Race? ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Bigger than ever in 2015, with an atmosphere crackling with adrenaline, the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella, was ground zero on Sunday as competitors from 63 countries made their final preparations. ... [more]  

The Chinese entry Dong looks set to create sailing sailing history when she finishes first on Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Sanya in two days time. Includes video Currently Dongfeng is 250 nm to the finish line in Sanya and the chasing pack with ADOR ahead in second place 55+ nm behind the Chinese team. ... [more]  

The first of the iconic Great Capes has been passed in the Barcelona World Race with Cheminées Poujoulat rounding the Cape of Good Hope earlier this morning. Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam passed 20°E around 400 miles south of Cape Agulhas – the southernmost tip of Africa – at 0935am (UTC) today and have begun the Indian Ocean leg of their race around Antarctica. ... [more]  

The Classic 18fters were racing again on Saturday on Sydney harbour. Michael Chittenden caught the action from a shore vantage point. ... [more]  

When race leader Dongfeng rounded Singapore 60+ nautical miles ahead of the chasing pack, it looked like the final 1200 miles of Leg three would be a procession but over the last day, the Volvo Ocean race leg from Abu Dhabi to Sanya China appears to have tightened incredibly. ... [more]  

US Sailing and Rolex USA announced last week that the 2014 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year is Stephanie Roble. Her accomplishments on the water last year were recognized by the selection panel for her versatility; her accomplishments as a skipper and as a crew; and her competitive successes on a variety of platforms, sailing against both men and women. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - The first of the Great Capes is fast-approaching, with the leading boats in the Barcelona World Race expected to pass the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope at the tip of South Africa tomorrow. As they pass 20°E, the Atlantic Ocean will deliver its verdict – did Cheminées Poujoulat’s east-bound track or Neutrogena’s southerly gamble pay off? ... [more]  

Mardi Gras may not be for another month but US Sailing’s National Sailing Programs Symposium (NSPS) kicked it off early for Oakcliff Sailing this year. This evening, Oakcliff received The Captain Joe Prosser Award, given to an organization that has made an exemplary contribution toward improving the quality and safety in the training or instruction of sailors. ... [more]  

The 35th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has already attracted entries from 20 different countries: Antigua, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Puerto Rico, Russia, St.Maarten, Uruguay, USA and the US Virgin Islands. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - Less than 500 miles to go
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Fantastic finish
Barcelona World Race: Weather beacons launched midrace
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 5
Mount Gay Round Barbados Race – Gala prizegiving marks end of event
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 5 images by Ingrid Abery
Volvo Ocean Race Leader - Dongfeng - the right place at the right time
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Notice Of Race online
Currently doing scheduled maintenance.
Volvo Ocean Race: Changes to Team Vestas Wind crew
McDougall+McConaghy Moth Worlds: Highlight video released
America's Cup: Oracle crew mate lodges complaint against Tienpont
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 4 images by Ingrid Abery
2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - US Sailing Team preview
Quantum Key West Race Week 2015 - A great day
Volvo Ocean Race: Jump seat and Pro-Am race spots up for auction
Lauderdale Olympic Classes Regatta overall
Volvo Ocean Race - Dongfeng? Race Team suffer? damage
America's Cup: Italy to host first America's Cup World Series regatta
Breeze and Sunshine at Quantum Key West Race Week
Images of the Millennium Cup and Bay of Islands Sailing Week - Day 1:   
2015 Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race – Three records broken   
St.Maarten Heineken Regatta - Simplified logistics and fun themes   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 3 images by Ingrid Abery   
Millennium Cup: Racing in the picturesque Bay of Islands   
Volvo Ocean Race - Up up and away   
Barcelona World Race - 'Haves' and 'Have Nots'   
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 update from Jack Bouttell onboard Dongfeng   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Game time!   
Extreme Sailing Series™ 2015 – Ninth year ready to rock!   
Foiling GC32s Key West Race Week images by Ingrid Abery   
Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race - Crews prepare for big race   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 2   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - A challenging day   
America's Cup: Spithill leads Oracle reconnaissance team in Bermuda   
Extreme Sailing Series announces new teams and venues for 2015   
Barcelona World Race - Leaders enter the fastest section of the course   
Martinique Surf Pro - Must attend event in the world surfing circuit   
New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup preview   
RORC Caribbean 600 proving irresistible   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT