Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Ker 40+ 728x90

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 www.photosport.co.nz
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

Ancasta Ker 33 660x82North Technology - Southern SparsT Clewring AC72

Related Articles

Tom Slingsby and Nathan Outteridge - the retrospective -Part III
In Part III, the Question and Answer session, we will discover why Nathan’s nick name is George and why Tom is so fast Interview with Nathan Outteridge and Tom Slingsby. In Part III, the Question and Answer session, we will discover why Nathan’s nick name is George and why Tom is so fast at post capsize recovery.
Posted on 9 Nov 2015
Blast from the past, do you remember this? Great Video!!
One particular race in the 2012 London Olympic Laser Radial regatta in Weymouth was one of most watched sailing events One particular race in the 2012 London Olympic Laser Radial regatta in Weymouth was one of the most watched sailing events of 2012. Watch it again to remember exactly why.
Posted on 8 Nov 2015
Lijia Xu ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2012 - THAT Speech
Lijia Xu (CHN) was crowned ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2012 at an awards night in Dublin, Ireland: Lijia Xu (CHN) was crowned ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2012 at an awards night in Dublin, Ireland. The acceptance speech from the China sailor was one of the most eloquent ever heard. The acceptance speech from the China sailor was one of the most eloquent ever heard. If you have not heard it, you can catch it now.
Posted on 3 Nov 2013
Mat Belcher – 17 in a row - 'The harder I work, the luckier I get'
The harder I work the luckier I get, is a quotation attributed variously to Thomas Jefferson and Mark Twain The harder I work the luckier I get, is a quotation attributed variously to Thomas Jefferson and Mark Twain but perhaps of Amish origin, but regardless the sentiment is well understood. And it’s something that one of Australia´s most successful Olympic class regatta sailors and his coach understands very well.
Posted on 20 Aug 2013
Ainslie- Close to quitting sailing after Andrew 'Bart' Simpson's death
I came close to quitting sailing after Andrew 'Bart' Simpson's death, says Sir Ben Ainslie. British sailing great, Sir Ben Ainslie writes in The Daily Telegraph on after the funeral service for his close friend, Andrew Simpson, killed in San Francisco as a result of an AC72 break up, during a training session.
Posted on 3 Jun 2013
A Tribute to Bart
This video pays tribute to Andrew Simpson's many sailing achievements, His Service is to held on May 31, in England Andrew 'Bart' Simpson died in the capsize of the Artemis Racing AC72 on May 9, 2013. His service will be held on Friday May 31 in Sherborne Abbey, UK, followed by a celebration of his life at Sherborne Castle. This video pays tribute to Bart's many sailing achievements
Posted on 31 May 2013
Ainslie knighted in New Year Honours, five others recognised
Four-time Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie has been Knighted in the New Year Honours list. British sailor and four-time Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie has capped a triumphant year of sailing with a Knighthood in the New Year Honours list. British Sailing has more cause for celebration, with honours also going to Paralympic gold medallist Helena Lucas, and to Ainslie’s coach David Howlett, who were both named as Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).
Posted on 29 Dec 2012
2012 Paralympic Games a winner in global TV ratings
The London 2012 Paralympic Games were a TV ratings winner with pictures shown in more countries than ever before. The London 2012 Paralympic Games were a TV ratings winner with pictures shown in more countries than ever before and attracted their biggest ever international audience according to new figures published by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
Posted on 28 Nov 2012
London Paralympic Games debrief to start in Rio
Paralympic Games committee will share their knowledge and experiences of London 2012 with future organising committees. The organising committee of what International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Sir Philip Craven defined as the best ever Paralympic Games, will share their knowledge and experiences of London 2012 with future organising committees and the 2020 candidate cities this week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Posted on 21 Nov 2012
2012 Olympics- The Medalists thoughts on Kites and Windsurfers
The new Olympic Medalists were asked their thoughts on the decision to change the event from Windsurfing to Kiteboarding At the Medal Winners Media Conference held after the Medal Ceremony for the Mens and Womens Windsurfing Event at the 2012 Olympics, the new Olympic Medalists were asked their thoughts on the decision to change the event from Windsurfing to Kiteboarding the 2016 Olympics.
Posted on 2 Nov 2012