Please select your home edition
Edition
Barton Marine 2019 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

Armstrong 728x90 - HA Foil Range - BOTTOMNorth Sails Performance 2023 - FOOTERLloyd Stevenson - TTSkorpios 728x90px BOTTOM

Related Articles

America's Cup Store: Three team polo shirts
Get your hands on the latest Polo Shirts, for American Magic, INEOS Britannia, Emirates Team NZ Set yourself up for the 37th America's Cup with us and get your hands on the latest Polo Shirts, from official team collections to official race polo shirts. Teams include American Magic, INEOS Britannia and Emirates Team New Zealand.
Posted today at 3:44 am
Shirley Robertson talks with Murray Jones
Shirley Robertson talking to NZ's Murray Jones about a remarkable career spanning over two decades This month's podcast sees Shirley Robertson talking to New Zealand's Murray Jones about a remarkable career spanning over two decades chasing the oldest trophy in international sport.
Posted today at 12:00 am
Will Phoenix team be back in the frame in Newport?
Ed Baird is calling the shots for the South African flagged TP52 crew After missing out on the first regatta of the 2024 52 SUPER SERIES season Hasso and Tina Plattner's Phoenix will be back in action at the upcoming XS 52 SUPER SEREIS Newport Trophy regatta in Newport RI.
Posted on 27 May
Ultimate Layering with Aktiv Stretch
Elevate your layering game with the the ultimate mid-layer companion Elevate your layering game with the Aktiv Stretch Jacket 2.0 : the ultimate mid-layer companion.
Posted on 27 May
Atlantic Cup Leg 1 update
It's a battle to the Newport finish line! Wow, what a battle so far! The racing has been extremely close in the first two days of the Charleston-Newport leg of the Atlantic Cup. Until 9pm ET last night seven of the eight teams were within just a few miles of each other.
Posted on 27 May
The path to progress: Women in the lead
Launch of Magenta x IMOCA Female Leadership Development Programme The Magenta Project, IMOCA, and 11th Hour Racing announce the launch of the Magenta x IMOCA Female Leadership Development Programme, a joint-initiative aimed at fostering female talent in elite ocean racing.
Posted on 27 May
Speed trials action-shots from the New York Vendee
Stunning photos of the IMOCAs by the top photographer Speed trials action-shots from the New York Vendee by George Bekris.
Posted on 27 May
69F Cup Grand Prix 2 at Torbole overall
Groupe Atlantic clinches the title after 16 races At the end of three days of challenging races - 16 in total - the 69F Cup Grand Prix 2 Torbole went to a conclusion with the success of Clément Cron's Groupe Atlantic (FRA).
Posted on 27 May
Clipper Race 11 review
Tactical, testing, untamed first stage of Leg 7 Popular for so many reasons, but also often underestimated, Leg 7, one of the longest of the circumnavigation, is made up of two races. The first is down the West Coast of North America and the second back up its East Coast.
Posted on 26 May
WingFoil Racing World Cup Turkiye overall
Ghio and Suardiaz take the titles Nia Suardiaz and Mathis Ghio have taken the gold medals at the WingFoil Racing World Cup Turkiye after commanding performances in the medal series.
Posted on 26 May