Known simply and affectionately as "the Medal Maker" among those in the sailing world, Australian Coach Victor KOVALENKO is about to realise yet another dream within in his sport.
The Ukrainian born Australian citizen has managed to stack up Olympic medals for his adopted country since his arrival in 1994, leading Australian athletes to medals in every Games since, except Athens in 2004.
However his role as Ambassador for the inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup - Sail Melbourne is what he describes as "a dream come true."
"This is not even my dream … I could never even imagine this happening in my life,"
KOVALENKO said from his Sydney base.
"I am so proud and so happy to be the Ambassador for Sail Melbourne … the home of sailing is in Sydney but the spirit of sailing is much stronger in Melbourne,"
the affable coach added.
KOVALENKO said while the Australian Sailing Team is based in Sydney, it was Melbourne that produced the unique sailing conditions and offered a true test of your sailing ability.
"Sail Melbourne is a true test of seamanship - you have to be a very good sailor and top top to win in Melbourne,"
Kovalenko said he could see the Sail Melbourne regatta growing as the only Grade 1 event in this part of the world.
"Sydney has all the money but they don't do anything like this - to be the only World Cup event in the Southern Hemisphere is unbelievable,"
It is a great coup for Sail Melbourne organizers to have KOVALENKO as the inaugural World Cup Ambassador with the event running from December 16-21 this year out of Sandringham Yacht Club.
KOVALENKO, as Ambassador, will be available as a mentor for all competitors throughout the event.
ISAF Sailing World Cup - www.sailing.org/isafsailingworldcup