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19 Aug 2016

Sailors must be at the heart and soul of World Sailing, with a strong voice and responsibility to represent the interest of sailors.

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Rio 2016 Olympic Games Sailing Competition

Athletes make a hugely valuable contribution to the communications and debates within World Sailing and its stakeholders. The Athletes’ Commission acts as the voice of the sailors in offering advice and assistance and putting a focus on athletes and the central role they play.

Standing for election for the next four year term of the World Sailing Athletes’ Commission are two of the biggest names in sailing, Jo Aleh from New Zealand and Mat Belcher of Australia.

Both Aleh and Belcher have trodden long careers in sailing; from youth to international events and on to the Olympics – with years of experience to draw on. Rio 2016 marks Aleh’s third Olympic appearance and the second for Belcher.

Jo Aleh – has campaigning for well over 13 years, taking in appearances and medals at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships, 420 Class Worlds, Laser Radial Championships, 470 Championships and three Olympics along the way. Aleh’s initial glory came in the Laser Radial, finishing 7th at Beijing 2008, before her attention switched to the 470 Class. Since 2009, Aleh has been at the forefront of 470 sailing, finishing on the podium at the 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2016 World Championships, including gold in 2013, racing to victory at the London 2012 Olympics and securing Silver at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Mat Belcher – first represented Australia on the international sailing stage at the 1999 420 World Championships, and since then his name has been synonymous with glory for his nation. Belcher has racked up numerous titles since winning the 2000 420 Worlds with his brother. That same year he carried the Olympic flag at the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics, which was a significant motivation to become an Olympian. The rest is history with six 470 World Championship golds, London 2012 Olympic gold and Rio 2016 Olympic Silver to his credit.

From a list of seven candidates, four sailors will be elected by their fellow Rio 2016 Olympians. To ensure a balance of regions, gender and events, the World Sailing President my appoint a fifth representative. The five sailors will join current Athletes’ Commission members Sarah Gosling (GBR), Yann Rocherieux (FRA) and Lijia Xu (CHN) who are completing their second term.

All sailors competing in Rio 2016 have been sent a link by World Sailing to the online Athletes’ Commission voting. Make sure you vote by the deadline of 22 August.

If you have not received the link to the electronic voting, please email katherine.mason@sailing.org


World Sailing Athletes’ Commission