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

With the front runners in the Rolex Sydney Hobart expected to sneak through in light to moderate tail winds, the weather prognosis for the remainder of the fleet is, well, interesting. The simple analysis is that fresh northerly winds will give the fleet a fast ride on Sunday and during the daylight hours of Monday. ... [more]  

Wild Oats XI (Oatley family) is expected to cross the finish line, around 4pm on Sunday and take her eighth line honours win. The race leaders are making good time down the coast of Tasmania, and at daybreak had approximately 100nm to sail. ... [more]  

Sail-World is now running live in the changed website format. If you are running on a Mac with iOS please scroll to the bottom of the site and check that your region is set for your region and not some other. It can be correctly set up using the drop down boxes. Then go to the top, click refresh, and you should be away. ... [more]  

Sydney to Hobart - Another 40 foot white-wash? by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team
With the Supermaxi battle probably all over in this 70th Rolex Sydney to Hobart race, unless Wild Oats XI drops her rig in the next five hours, she is set to take her eighth line honours victory so at last the attention will shift to the real race, the battle for handicap honours. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Your Turn, Then My Turn, Then Your Turn! *Feature by Crosbie Lorimer, Hobart, Tasmania
With the front runners over halfway to Hobart, this year’s race is turning out to be quite a page turner already; and that’s just the big boats. So let’s start with them. Wind back to the start, first honours to Comanche in the shoot out to the first mark. To be fair it was akin to pitting a brand new Bugatti Veyron against some classy and quick Ferraris and Porsches. The result in those ... [more]  

There is absolutely no way anyone can predict these before the vast majority of the still 109 vessels racing actually get home to Hobart Town. One can, however, talk about the very things that do go into making these results that so many chase and to do so, we have to work through a myriad of vessel designs, ages and types. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart 2014; Handicap Honours Predictions VIDEO *Feature by Dale Lorimer, Hobart, Tasmania
Given the weather models for the race, Crosbie Lorimer did the rounds of the CYCA dock just prior to the start of the race to find out who the various skippers, navigators and tacticians believed might take out the overall Handicap win on IRC. Here are some of their predictions, how they are panning out for some and an update on the position at the front of the fleet. ... [more]  

Sydney Hobart 2014 - A ridge too far for Comanche by Bruce Montgomery, RSHYR Media
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - That’s the conclusion that one might well draw from the huge difference in the performance of the Hamilton Island super maxi Wild Oats XI and her main challenger, the US boat Comanche. ... [more]  

Photographer Daniel Forster was in the air again for the Sydney Hobart 2014, and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The chase for line honours at the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is intensifying with the leading boats approaching the halfway mark of the 628-nm race. ... [more]  

By Grand Prix ocean racing standards she’s an old girl, and there’s no denying she’s had a few makeovers during the past decade, but Bob Oatley’s 30-metre long supermaxi, Wild Oats XI, was leaving no doubt today that when it came to speed she’s still got great legs. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - After 24 hours the Hamilton Island supermaxi Wild Oats XI has taken the lead for the first time in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the 70th sailing of the event. ... [more]  

Looking back it is not so long ago that sailors making long trips had to make the key choice between light weight and taste. But now, thankfully, technology and demand means that there is more and better choice in freeze dried foods. But the lack of fresh food and the limited choice of diet does mean eating remains a chore, part of the daily routine during the three months ... [more]  

2015 Fireball World Championship - The event offers two weeks of unrivalled sailing in the beautiful waters of North Wales. Situated on the Llyn peninsular, just 10 miles from the Snowdonia National Park, racing will take place in Cardigan Bay within easy reach of the sandy beach from where the fleet will launch. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Supermaxi Race Start VIDEO *Feature by Dale Lorimer, Sydney
The start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race saw the five 100 foot super maxis up against each other for the first time. ... [more]  

The Australian supermaxi Perpetual Loyal has been forced to retire from the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, with hull damage. The news came in a regular radio sked with race organisers, little detail was available, however it is understood that she has some hull delamination, probably arising from pounding though big seas and 25-30kt winds for the first day and night of the race. ... [more]  

Clouds outlines what he is expecting to see in the race, and says that while the big boats will take all the attention in the early stages of the race, the weather is against them as the race progresses. The smaller boats will come surfing in a fresh northerly, while the front-runners cope with light winds on their final approach to the finish on the Derwent. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney to Hobart: Replay video coverage on Sail-World *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Replay of the start of the 2014 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race. The fleet is expected to experience fresh to strong headwinds for the start and first 24 hours, although winds will moderate towards the end of this period. ... [more]  

For the last 18 hours, there has been never more than three nautical miles between the new kids on the block, Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze Clark's Comanche with Ken Read skippering the boat with distinction and the Bob Oatley's Wild Oats XI. Mark Richard's who was blown away by Comanche's reaching speed inside the harbour has been hunting the race leader relentlessly as the two boats beat south. ... [more]  

Will Comanche take a scalp? by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team
After blasting off the startline earlier today, Jim Clark's Comanche continues to hold the lead in the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart race eight hours into the race. ... [more]  

A stiff southerly is testing the boats and sailors on the first afternoon of the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart and by late afternoon, four yachts had retired from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual race. The first casualties of the race were Tina of Melbourne, forced out because of hull damage and Bear Necessity with a damaged rudder, just two hours into the race. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Comanche leads in softening morning breeze *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
The US supermaxi Comanche (Jim & Kirsty Clark) continues to enjoy a small lead at the head of the Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet. As the race enters its second day, organisers told Sail-World at 6.00am local time that the fleet was experiencing SW winds of 12-13kts and that these would ease further during the day. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race: The 117 competing yachts, including five 100-foot Maxis, represents the race’s largest number of starters since 1994. Of the five Maxis, Jim Clark’s Comanche (USA) made the early gains in the race’s 70th edition, reaching the first mark in record time and setting a blistering pace. Seven-time line honours winner Wild Oats XI was in close pursuit. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014: A memorable edition of the 628-nm race appears certain, with the contest between the fleet’s five Maxi yachts living up to the pre-race hype. At 8:00pm local time, Comanche leads seven-time line honours winner Wild Oats XI by one nautical mile, with Anthony Bell’s Perpetual Loyal and Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin 100 just a few miles behind the leading duo. ... [more]  

Top international photographers, Carlo Borlenghi and Daniel Forster were on the water, and in the air, for the start of the 70th edition of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. Here is a selection of their images of the day. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - Start photos by Andrea Francolini. ... [more]  

Comanche skipper Ken Read was in fine form in this video interview. He says On the first night, will there will be too much upwind to be able to send it? It absolutey plays on my mind as the skipper this boat is untested. We’re completely cutting edge, and when it's cutting edge it’s a Formula 1 race car that blows up its engine on the first lap. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race: Brad Kellett, Brindabella’s sailing master, reported that while he was doing his regular checks this evening he discovered larger than normal quantities of water in the bottom of the boat, found to be coming from damaged rudder bearings. 'We were just coming into our own after a risky tactical decision to go offshore paid off,' a disappointed Kellett said. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Day 1 start images by photographer Carlo Borlenghi ... [more]  

One of the largest fleets in many years started the 70th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race today in a building southerly and in bright sunshine. There seemed to be some mind games going on amongst the super maxis during the pre race dry runs as each in turn put in a single reef in the 30 minutes before the start. Possibly there was some tossing of the coin as to whether it was ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Clipper Ventures 10 has started Australian classic offshore the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Australia in a warm, 15 knot plus breeze. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - Tony Cable just keeps going on. Last year he finished his 48th Sydney Hobart, setting a record for the number of races by an individual - this year it is number 49 - 49 not out, just one off the half ton! ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race: Designed for fast broad reaching, the 15 knot plus south-easterly breeze on the harbour was made to order for the big red and black hulled yacht owned by American Jim Clark and his Australian wife, Kristy. After a brilliant start slightly ahead and to leeward of Wild Oats XI, Comanche swiftly unfurled her giant spinnaker and took off, quickly ‘rolling the Oats’. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart - Spithill to grind on Comanche
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race – Spinnaker start forecast
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Wild Oats XI ready to go
Adventures of a Sailor Girl: Hobart coverage - December 26 - Live
Rolex Sydney Hobart - The Peyron Perspective -Old People On New Boats *Feature
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart - Spithill to grind on Comanche
Rolex Sydney Hobart; Wild Oats XI trials Goose for Christmas
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - The Weather Gate *Feature
For Christmas a Shiny new Sail-World.com *Feature
Sydney-Hobart: Wacky Races 3 – Gravel and Red Max versus VMG *Feature
Yankees at the Gate - A pre Sydney-Hobart conversation with Ken Read *Feature
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Line Honours Skippers Press Conference - Video
Barcelona World Race 2014-15 -A different Christmas
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind recovery video *Feature
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - Another great journey south
Sydney Hobart - Ragamuffin's David Witt explains deck failure + Video
Wild Oats XI - Damage drama in lead-up to Sydney Hobart Race
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race images by Photographer Carlo Borlenghi
Five faces behind the 100ft super maxis by Andrea Francolini
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Everyone's in with a chance
Comanche Designers talk before Sydney Hobart   
Olympic Sailing Waters - Rio de Janeiro   
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Holiday gifts for a range of entries!   
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - To Hobart in Style   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race: Ken Read's notes on Comanche   
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Rio 100 - A supermaxi is reborn + Video *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race: Video of Team Vestas Wind being removed from reef   
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Holiday gifts for a range of entries!   
Entries open for 2015 ORC Championship events   
Rolex Sydney Hobart - Levelling the playing field   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race video preview   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - It's a Woman’s world too   
Moth Worlds – Looping the loop *Feature   
Miami Winter Series - M32 racing gets underway   
Rio 2016 - Super-bugs found in Rio sailing waters   
Building the bridge from Optimist to Laser and beyond – with Byte C1 *Feature   
Kieler Woche - Notices of Race published – entry systems are now open   
Adventures of a Sailor Girl: News and interviews from December 22 show   
RORC Transatlantic 2014 Race Lanzarote-Grenada - Overall report   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind images from the reef recovery   


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 NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT