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Mat Belcher & Malcolm Page (AUS)

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Factfile

Name Mat Belcher - helm
Malcolm Page - crew
Nation AUS
Date of Birth Mat: 20 September 1982
Malcolm: 22 March 1972
Place of Birth Mat: Gold Coast, AUS
Malcolm: Sydney, AUS
Website www.belcherpage2012.com

Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page are at the very top of their game and since they teamed up in 2009 have steadily exerted their authority on the 470 class.

With a gold medal from Beijing and four world titles to his name, Malcolm Page is a formidable crew to have at the front of your boat and since teaming up with Mat Belcher things could hardly be better. They notched up 28 straight race wins across the 2009 Australian summer regatta season and then turned their attention to the ISAF Sailing World Cup and the European season.

Belcher and Page sailed at all seven of the 2009-10 ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas, stood on the podium at five of them and led the Standings from start to finish. Their first victory came at Sail Melbourne in December 2009, followed by silver in Miami, silver at Delta Lloyd and gold at Kieler Woche before a final silver medal at Skandia Sail for Gold. This impressive set of results gave them an unassailable lead on the Standings and in September they were crowned 2009-10 ISAF Sailing World Cup Champions.

Belcher and Page were equally dominant at the 2010 470 World Championship at The Hague in the Netherlands. After an impressive performance, including five race wins, they had secured the gold medal before the Medal Race. Page can now count five 470 World titles and the accolade of 'most successful male 470 sailor'. On 18 August they also rose to the #1 position on the ISAF Sailing World Rankings.
As well as his commitments to the 470 campaign, Malcolm Page also finds time to sail with the Estate Master Farr 40 team as trimmer. Regatta wins included the Rolex Trophy, the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta, the Rolex Farr 40 pre-World Championship and fourth place at the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds in the Dominican Republic. He also is a member of the ISAF Athletes' Commission and the Australian Institute of Sport Athletes' Commission.

470 - Men's Two Person Dinghy

4 - Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, Weymouth, GBR - ISAF Grade 1 - September 2009
1 - Sail Sydney, Sydney, AUS - ISAF Grade 1 - Dec 2009
1 - Sail Melbourne, Melbourne, AUS - ISAF Grade 1 - Dec 2009
1 - 470 Australian National Championship, Sorrento, AUS - ISAF Grade 3 - January 2010
2 - US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR, Miami, USA - ISAF Grade 1 - January 2010
4 - Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia MAPFRE, Palma de Majorca, ESP - ISAF Grade 2 - April 2010
2 - Delta Lloyd Regatta, Medemblik, NED - ISAF Grade 1 - May 2010
1 - Kieler Woche, Kiel, GER - ISAF Grade 1 - June 2010
1 - 2010 470 World Championship (NED) - ISAF Grade W - July 2010
2 - Skandia Sail for Gold, Weymouth, GBR - ISAF Grade 2 - August 2010
1st overall 2009-2010 ISAF Sailing World Cup
Mat Belcher1 - International 470 Spring Cup, Marseille, FRA - ISAF Grade 2 - April 2010
6 - Semaine Olympique Française, Hyères, FRA - ISAF Grade 1 - April 2010

Malcolm Page
1 - World Masters Games (Tasar 45+), Sydney, AUS - October 2009
Farr 40 Estate Master - trimmer
1 - Rolex Trophy, Sydney, AUS - December 2009
1 - Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta, Sydney, AUS - March 2010
1 - Rolex Farr 40 pre-World Championship, Dominican Republic - April 2010
4 - Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, Dominican Republic - April 2010

Q&A

What inspired you to take up sailing?

Mat: The dream of competing at the Olympic Games and the challenges that sailing represents.
Malcolm: I come from a non sailing family. It was when my elder brother got involved in sailing that I had my first taste. Once I got over teh first scary experience, I could not get enough and have been sailing ever since.

What was the first boat you ever sailed and how old were you?

Mat: A 10 year old wooden Sabot (similar to an Optimist) tied to the back of my parents boat when I was about 6 or 7 years old.
Malcolm: A wooden Manly Junior, which is a snub nosed three sail training boat from Sydney, a little larger than an Optimist. I was 8 years old.

Name your first sailing club

Mat: Southport Yacht Club (SYC) and Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron
Malcolm: Hunters Hill Sailing Club

What was the first event you competed in and in what year?

Mat: A junior handicap race at SYC in 1989
Malcolm: Manly Junior National Championships in January 1983

What are you personal sailing career highlights?

Mat: 470 - 2010 World Championship, 2009-2010 ISAF Sailing World Cup champion (medallin in 5 of 7 regattas), Ranked at #1 in 2007 and 2010 and 4 times Australian National Champion (2001, 2006, 2008 and 2009). 420 - 2000 World Champion, silver medal at 2004 420 World Championship and Australian National Championship in 1999. International Moth - 3rd at 2008 Moth World Championships and 2008 Australian National Champion.
Malcolm: Winning the Gold Medal in 2008 and becoming the most successful 470 men's sailor with 4 World Championship golds and 1 ISAF World Sailing Games

What are your future sailing goals?

Mat: Winning gold at the 2012 Olympic Games
Malcolm: To be the first Australian sailor to win two Olympic gold medals

Who has had the greatest impact on your sailing and career and why?

Mat: My parents and family have had the biggest impact on my sailing. My junior coach, Mick Ralph, encouraged me to participate in international competitions and coached me to our 420 successes. Over the past 10 years I have been guided and mentored by our coach Victor Kovalenko, both in my sailing career but also personal development.
Malcolm: I have three mentors in my life. My father Don Page, my coach Victor Kovalenko and my current employee Martin Hill. They have all shared experiences and guided me through life, which has enabled me to achieve my goals.

Who is your sailing hero?

Mat: I think every young sailor's hero at some point would have to have been Paul Elvstrom. Before I started my 470 career, I really looked up to Tom King (Sydney 2000 gold medallist) and I still do. My biggest sailing heroes are the Australian 470 gold medal teams from Sydney and Beijing Olympics. Seeing how they achieved the ultimate success at the Olympics - this gives confidence in the system that our coach created. To achieve the same in London would be a dream come true.
Malcolm: I think it would have to be Paul Elvstrom. From reading books and hearing about his reputation he seemed such a great competitor, with a record to match.

What other sports do you enjoy?

Mat: Running, golf, windsurfing and surfing
Malcolm: Soccer and watching team sports, especially if Australia is playing

What does being nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards mean to you and how would you feel if you were voted the winner?

Mat: Being nominated is one of the greatest recognitions you can achieve in our sport. We have had a very successful year this year and it's a rewarding feeling for our dedication and commitment to our sport. It is truly a great honour to be nominated as one of the top sailors and being compared to the many sailing greats past and present. I hope that we can do Australia and my team proud by giving our best for the future and in London 2012. The possibility that our team might be voted as ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year - I think I would be speechless.
Malcolm: It would be a complete honour to win this title. Looking at the past winners of the award, they are all legends of my sport. Coming from one of the most competitive and far reaching classes in the world, it is a privilege to be recognized in this way. To be at the top of the 470 class is rewarding and difficult enough, but to be thought of as a potential World Sailor of the Year is humbling. To possibly be the first 470 sailor to win this award is exciting and incredible. I feel responsible for representing my country and class and I hope that I can do them proud.

As an acknowledgement of results where a man goes up to himself!

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