Newly crowned male ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, Australia's Mathew Belcher will be aiming for a record 18th sailing regatta win in a row at Sandringham Yacht Club this December 1 - 8 as the ISAF Sailing World Cup returns to Melbourne.
Belcher, the 2012 Olympic Gold Medallist and four times World 470 Champion was announced the 2013 Rolex World Male Sailor of the year on 12 November at the award ceremony in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.
Belcher said, "'It's a complete honour. It's great recognition for this year and the efforts we've put in and the results we've achieved. I am very fortunate to have great support, from my coach Victor Kovalenko, crew and support staff."
Belcher, with former crewmate Malcolm Page had won eight regattas in a row, culminating in their London 2012 Olympic victory.
Page then retired from the class and Belcher launched his new campaign for the 2016 Olympics at last year's World Cup event in Melbourne with new partner Will Ryan and the winning streak continued.
If the duo take gold in this year's Cup it will be the 18th consecutive win for Belcher, including three more World Cups in 2013, then the Open European Championship. Belcher's win, with Ryan at the 470 Worlds in August in La Rochelle, France was his fourth successive World title, the first time the feat had ever been achieved in the class.
Belcher is keen to get back on the water. He said "Now it's back to training ahead of the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Melbourne - It is typical Melbourne weather. You get all four seasons in one day. It's not an easy place to race but I think that is what makes it so great. It's always very well run and we enjoy competing, especially with the entire Australian Sailing team and the Development Squad there."
"Across all the classes this event provides a great opportunity for sailors at every level to test themselves. I hear we will have sailors from more than 20 countries competing. We will have very strong competition again in the 470's this year, with 2009 World Champions Croatia's Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic, who have been on the World Championship podium three times since then, amongst those keen to spoil our run."
Competitors and coaches can enter by completing the online entry form on www.sailingworldcupmelbourne.com
and paying the required fees. Entries may be accepted until 26 November 2013 at the discretion of the Organising Authority if submitted with the full entry fee payment.