30 Sep 2010
470 Stars Nominated for 2010 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards
Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) and Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout (NED) have been shortlisted for the 2010 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards.
“Their nominations mark a sensational conclusion to the 2009-2010 Olympic class sailing season”, said Stanislav Kassarov, 470 Class President. “Both 470 teams have displayed enormous talent and ability and it is due credit to the sailors that they have been shortlisted for the prestigious ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards.”.
Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS)
A phenomenal year for the Australian team of Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) has been recognized with their nomination for the 2010 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards.Their triumphs in 2010 include winning the 2009-2010 ISAF Sailing World Cup, the 2010 470 World Championship, several individual World Cup and Grade 1, 2 and 3 events and climbing from #43 to #1 in the ISAF World Rankings during the nomination period.
They have competed in twelve international 470 events during the period of nomination. Their 2009-2010 ISAF Sailing World Cup season opened with Sail Melbourne, where against many of the world's best 470 teams, they won every single race to seal gold perfectly. Next stop Rolex Miami OCR where they finished second, before it was on to Europe and the Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia MAPFRE 2010 for a fourth place, which saw Malcolm racing on his honeymoon. Semaine Olympique Francais gave Mat a sixth place finish with substitute crew Will Ryan, whilst Malcolm raced the Farr40. It was then back to the Mat and Malcolm partnership for a silver medal at Delta Lloyd Regatta, then to Kieler Woche and a gold medal podium place. Their performance at Kieler Woche was exceptional, winning four of the five races and securing the ISAF Sailing World Cup title with an event to spare.
|Mat and Malcolm at Sail 2009 Melbourne||Sailing Downunder © Victor Kovalenko|
It was then over to the Netherlands for the 470 World Championships, where Belcher and Page opened their claim on the Championship title by winning all three races on the first day of racing. They secured two more bullets in the 12-race series and won by a 21-point margin for another pair of gold medals. A priceless performance.
Back to the final event of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta and the challenging conditions of the 2012 Olympic venue, where they delivered another silver medal for their event finish, and were presented with the 2009-2010 ISAF Sailing World Cup Trophy.
Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout (NED)
Since pairing up after the 2008 Olympic Games, where Lobke secured a silver medal with previous helm Marcelien de Koning, the new partnership has gone from strength to strength. Both accomplished 470 sailors, either together or with different partners they have stood on the podium at the 470 World championships 6 times over the past nine years, and have two Olympic appearances from 2004 and 2008 between them.
|And the champagne flowed ..|
Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout make a formidable team and although they may not have a long history sailing together they have a talent to make it count when it matters. Teaming up in May 2009, the goal for this team is Olympic gold in 2012.
Westerhof and Berkhout kicked off the nomination period with a win at the 2009 Skandia Sail for Gold before going on to sail at five of the 2009-2010 ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas. Their best World Cup performance was on home waters at Delta Lloyd Regatta where they won the silver medal in May.
The main target for this team in 2010 was the 470 World Championships at The Hague. The defending champions were set to make history if they could take home another gold medal and in a regatta that threw extreme conditions at the sailors, they showed their class. Going into the Medal Race one point behind the leaders, Westerhof and Berkhout sailed a tactical race to secure their gold medal. Two world titles for Westerhof is an exceptional achievement and the 2010 win for Berkhout makes her the most successful 470 sailor in the history of the class with five world titles.
The winners will be selected by the ISAF Member National Authorities, the national governing bodies for sailing around the world, who are now invited to vote for the one male and one female sailor who they believe most deserves the Award.
The winners will be announced at the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards presentation and dinner, which will take place on Tuesday 9 November 2010. The venue for the event is the Zappeion in Athens, Greece.
Each winner will be presented with the prestigious ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award Trophy and a distinctive Rolex timepiece.
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Main Image: 2010 470 World Champions, Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) with Llisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout (NED) © Thom Touw