Perth 2011 proved to be a major sailing success for Australia on and off the water. Three World Championship Gold medals from Mat Belcher, Malcolm Page, Nathan Outteridge, Iain Jensen and Tom Slingsby show that sailing is shaping as a significant Olympic sport for Australia in 2012.
Australia was the most successful nation in the 2011 ISAF World Championships, ahead of the Netherlands, while the British team suffered a major blow to its confidence seven months before the Weymouth regatta.
The three World Championship wins by the 470 Men, the 49er and Laser teams showed we are on track.
For Australia perhaps the most significant result came in the first medal race on Super Sunday, the 470 team of Elise Rechichi and Belinda Stowell took second place in the World Championship Medal race, just 10 weeks after embarking on a 2012 campaign.
As Peter Conde, the High Performance Director for the Australian Sailing Team said ‘We are extremely excited to have the girls back in the team. They are proven winners and they have demonstrated in a very short space of time they have been able to get to the top ten in the world and that’s the benchmark for the Australian Sailing Team. I know they are extremely happy about making it themselves and we are really thrilled to have them back.’
The Medal races starting and finishing in front of the Perth 2011 Grandstand have set a new bench mark for Olympic, World Championship and World Cup sailing.
Congratulations to the Australian Sailing Team and to the Perth 2011 Team.