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

Victor Kovalenko honoured with an Order of Australia Medal

by Craig Heydon on 11 Jun 2012
Victor Kovalenko with Australian Sailing Team members Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page Thom Touw http://www.thomtouw.com
The Australian Sailing Team’s Head Coach, Victor Kovalenko, has been recognised for his contributions to the sport of sailing with an Order of Australia Medal in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Kovalenko, 61, has played a significant role in the development of the current group of Australian World and Olympic Champion sailors with his contribution key to the country’s continual success at the highest level.

'The recognition is not only for me but for the whole team, all sailors and I am incredibly proud,' said Kovalenko. 'I love my job, I love Australia and to be able to combine the two is a great privilege.

‘I’m a very proud Australian, especially when I got my citizenship,' he said. 'I was incredibly proud to raise the Australian flag on my motorboat, to stand up when the anthem was played after an Australian won.

'Australia is a really special place, this is my country, my big and strong country and I am a very, very proud Australian, everywhere I go I am always representing the country,' said Kovalenko. 'Whatever I am doing I am representing the team and Australia and that is a big responsibility, some people only ever meet an Australian once in their life so you need to remember that and show how good we are, how kind Australians are.

'I’m really happy with this recognition of my modest work,' he said. 'This is a big event for me and a big credit, it’s a great recognition for our sport.'

Originally from the Ukraine, Kovalenko and his family moved to Australia in 1997, having been recruited to the position of coach for the Australian men’s and women’s 470 classes. Before taking on the role he had been coach of the Ukrainian 470 classes, with the Ukraine winning a silver medal at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games.

After less than three years as the Australian 470 class coach, Kovalenko reversed the fortunes of Australia’s leading the women’s and men’s 470 crews, with each crew winning gold medals at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Following this success Kovalenko was elevated to Head Coach of the sailing program for the Athens 2004 Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Australia again had success at the top level under the guidance of Kovalenko in 2008, with Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page, and Elise Rechichi and Tessa Parkinson, winning gold medals.

Currently Kovalenko is working with 470 men’s crew Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page as they work towards the goal of defending Page’s 2008 gold medal. Under Kovalenko’s guidance Belcher and Page have won the last three 470 World Champions and have been world number ones for almost three years, defeating all comers along the way.

Kovalenko has made an exceptional contribution to the sport of sailing by improving performance at the highest level. There is no doubt that his contribution will have a lasting impact on the strength of sailing in Australia, both at a local club level, through the inspiration that his athletes provide and at an Olympic level, where Australian athletes continue to perform to the peak of their potential.

In particular, Kovalenko has been able to work with young, aspiring athletes with potential and help them to recognise that potential by changing their thinking and level of application.

Kovalenko is an exceptional coach mainly because he takes a holistic approach in guiding athletes rather than just assisting them technically. His ongoing involvement in Australian sailing will help keep the country at the top of the sport for many years to come.

On behalf of the sailing community, Yachting Australia congratulates Victor on this well-deserved recognition of his enormous contribution to sailing in this country.
Mackay BoatsAncasta Ker 40+ 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Marine Resources expands Boatbuilding Team with two key appointments
Marine Resources have recently expanded their in-house boatbuilding team, with the addition of two new key members. Leading leisure marine industry and luxury yacht recruitment specialists Marine Resources have recently expanded their in-house boatbuilding team, with the addition of two new key members.
Posted on 16 Mar
Southern Spars takes to the air with new composite engineering project
One of the challenges for companies who have had their roots in the marine industry is diversification beyond that field One of the challenges for companies who have had their roots in the marine industry is diversification beyond that field. Moving into the composites engineering for non-marine projects is becoming a more common occurrence as clients realise the opportunities from utilising the expertise of composite boat and spar builders.
Posted on 8 Mar
New Xperformance - Optimising the cruiser/racer range from X-Yachts
X-Yachts have built a wide range of 'Cruiser/Racers' as well as dedicated racing yachts which have won many Intl titles Since the company was founded back in 1979, X-Yachts have built a wide range of 'Cruiser/Racers' as well as dedicated racing yachts which have won many famous International titles, and of course One Design Class yachts such as X-79 and X-99
Posted on 14 Feb
World Sailing unites Kiteboarding governing bodies
World Sailing has today signed a landmark agreement with the IKA and the GKA to unite the kiteboarding community World Sailing has today signed a landmark agreement with the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) and the Global Kitesports Association (GKA) to unite the kiteboarding community and provide clarity of kiteboarding's governance structure.
Posted on 13 Feb
On board interview with Lisa Blair - solo Antartica circumnavigation
So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. After the setbacks of a delayed departure due to gremlins in the electronics, we are delighted to have these answers from her on board. She is well and enjoying her time. Climate Action Now, her Hick 50, left Albany in Western Australia on January 22, 2017.
Posted on 8 Feb
The price of legacy
Malcolm Page OAM, two-time Olympic Gold Medallist, became the Chief of Olympic Sailing for the USA on January 1 Malcolm Page OAM, two-time Olympic Gold Medallist (470) with Nathan Wilmot in 2008 and Mat Belcher in 2012, became the Chief of Olympic Sailing for the USA on January 1 this year. In and of itself it is hardly the freshest news, and well and truly yesterday’s fish wrapper. It was also a wise choice on behalf of Team USA, for he has succeeded in both the physical and commercial arms of our sport.
Posted on 5 Feb
Zhik becomes Official Clothing Partner to the Extreme Sailing Series
Extreme Sailing Series™ has established an exciting new partnership with the high-performance clothing brand, Zhik. As it enters the 2017 season, the Extreme Sailing Series™ has established an exciting new partnership with the high-performance clothing brand, Zhik.
Posted on 2 Feb
World Sailing headquarters to relocate to London
World Sailing's headquarters will relocate from Southampton to central London, UK in late summer 2017. World Sailing's headquarters will relocate from Southampton to central London, UK in late summer 2017. The selection of London as the new home for the International Federation comes after an extensive evaluation process of possible locations undertaken since the election of a new President and Board of Directors in November 2016.
Posted on 1 Feb
Henri Lloyd join forces with FAST40+ Class
Henri Lloyd is delighted to announce their three year partnership with the FAST40+ Class. Premium British marine and lifestyle clothing brand, Henri Lloyd is delighted to announce their three year partnership with the FAST40+ Class.
Posted on 1 Feb
Tawera takes the NZ Millennium Cup 2017
The Ron Holland designed and impeccably sailed, Tawera, again dominated a lengthier 27nm course on Day 3 of racing The Ron Holland designed and impeccably sailed, Tawera, again dominated a lengthier 27nm course on Day 3 of racing, taking line honours for a third consecutive day, bringing home the NZ Millennium Cup 2017. Coming into the final day of racing, Pacific Division competitors, Antaeus and Steinlager 2, were tied on points. Rumours of an extensive tactical defence strategy to retain the Pacific
Posted on 1 Feb