AUSTRALIA’S world champion 470 crew Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page are hoping their new dinghy will give them as much success as their previous one as they take on seven of the top 10-ranked crews in the world at the Perth International Regatta this week.
They have continued the tradition of naming each new boat in honour of actress Nicole Kidman, choosing her movie My Life as their latest inspiration to reflect the all-consuming nature of their 2012 Olympic campaign.
The naming tradition began when Page and his former skipper Nathan Wilmot attended a party where a friend joked that they looked like they had just been released from the Bangkok Hilton. “We thought it was a good name for a boat and have kept to the Nicole Kidman theme,” Page said.
Belcher and Page won the world title and the World Cup this year on their previous boat Nicole, while Wilmot and Page won the Beijing Olympic gold medal on Australia. “I think we have named about seven boats after Nicole Kidman now and I’m thinking that Golden Compass might be a good one for the London Olympics,” Page said.
“We had a good year with Nicole but the New Zealand manufacturers brought out a new 470 mould and we wanted to see what it was like. So far we’re really happy with My Life and it will replace Nicole in Europe next year.”
The champion crew will use the Perth regatta primarily as preparation for next year’s world titles and Olympic qualifier, to be held at the same venue in December.
“We have had a good preparation the last week but results are not the important thing this week,” Page said.
“We have come here to sort out our equipment and the conditions and the idiosyncrasies of the place, because it will host one of our two peak regattas next year. There’s only one bigger than that, and that’s the Olympics.” Sydney-based Page said he had found the adjustment to the west coast more difficult than he had expected.