Belcher And Page Welcome New Team Members.


By Lynn Fitzpatrick

Australian 470 Men’s World Champion sailors, Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page have two new girls on their team. Australian World Champion gymnast, Lauren Mitchell, joined the team to officiate at the christening of Belcher and Page’s new 470 Olympic dinghy and bestow a name to the boat that they are hoping will win them an Olympic gold medal and other trophies along the way.

After having taken delivery of their new boat and getting to know her better, Belcher, Page and their coach, Victor Kovalenko, settled on a name. The name was unknown to the crowd gather at The Royal Perth Yacht Club Fremantle Annexe until Mitchell poured champagne over the bow and christened her My Life while Kovalenko wrote her name on the transom.

The Australian gymnast, Lauren Mitchell, joined Belcher and Page to celebrate a year of triumphs. She earned her mark in Australian sports history annals when she won gold in the floor exercise at the 2010 World Gymnastics Championship in Rotterdam, which was the first world championship title for a female Australian gymnast. Earlier this summer at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, Mitchell won 4 gold medals and a silver in the team, all-around, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise, respectively. Her gold medal count matches an achievement held by gymnast Lori Strong of Canada since 1990.

The bubbly gymnast was happy to give her Institute of Sports and Olympic colleagues, Belcher and Page a hand with the christening. ‘I met Malcolm during the run up to the 2008 Olympics and know what an effort he has put in to become a five-time world champion. I hope that Mat, Malcolm and I will continue to share good luck and good fortune all of the way to London. Besides, I’m eager to learn some of Mal’s techniques on the trapeze,’ said Mitchell, who will christen Belcher and Page’s new 470.

Page has won two 470 World Championship titles and an Olympic gold medal with Nicole, named after Australia’s favorite actress, Nicole Kidman. Page, like many sailors is bit superstitious and considered Nicole and Sunday Rose among other names for the boat that he and Belcher will use for upcoming world championships, Olympic qualifiers and possibly the 2012 Olympics.

‘We’ve been dreaming about this new boat for nearly a year and she is exactly what we hoped for. We couldn’t be happier,’ beamed Page as he ran his hand over her smooth deck. ‘It took us longer than we expected to agree upon the right name. In the end, we settled on My Life. It’s the name of a movie that Nicole Kidman starred in, but My Life also speaks to how consuming an Olympic campaign is. Sailing right now is our life. It takes all of our time, commitment and financial resources. We have made a lot of personal and team sacrifices to achieve our goal. Once again, we took our guidance from Nicole Kidman and My Life seemed appropriate.’

Belcher and Page plan on sailing My Life at the Perth International Regatta, the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta and the European Olympic classes regattas. Nicole is nowhere near ready for retirement. We will use her for training and competitions in New South Wales and Queensland.’

Belcher and Page are in Fremantle practicing for the Perth International Regatta, which starts November 16th -21st and has attracted over 230 boats representing 40 nations. The regatta is the test event for Perth 2011 where 75 percent of the nations to participate in the 2012 Olympic sailing events will be selected.

Shortly thereafter, Belcher and Page will leave for Athens and the 2010 ISAF Rolex World Sailor award ceremony. They are among six male nominees for international sailing’s prestigious award.

The Belcher & Page London Challenge 2012 470 Olympic sailing campaign appreciates all of its sponsors and supporters, especially those who have contributed to the Belcher & Page Dream Raffle. Grand prizes include the use of an Audi of the winner’s choice for a fortnight, a 6-night Sunsail bare boat charter from its Hamilton Island or Tahiti base, or a 5-night stay at qualia Great Barrier Reef, Hamilton Island’s ultra luxury resort. Raffle tickets can be purchased through a secure online site through BelcherPage2012.com. Tickets are also on sale at yacht clubs and sailing clubs throughout Australia. The drawing will be on March 15, 2011.

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