Matt Belcher

Mat Belcher



Place of Birth



Gold Coast

Junior Club

Southport Yacht Club, RQYS

Senior Club

Southport Yacht Club, Gold Coast


Victor Kovalenko

Olympic History

London 2012

Rio 2016

Tokyo 2020

Career Events

Men's Sailing Two Person Dinghy - 470


Mat's Story

Fast Facts

Sport: Sailing
Event: 470 - Men
Olympic History: London 2012 (gold); Rio 2016 (silver); Tokyo 2020 (gold)
Coach: Victor Kovalenko (2001 - 2022)
Institute/Academy: Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) & Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS)
Primary Training Base: Middle Harbour Yacht Club, NSW
Year Born: 1982
State Born: QLD

About Mat

Living and growing up on the Gold Coast, Mat Belcher had always been surrounded by water. 

At six years old he started sailing in a 10-year-old wooden Sabot tied to the back of his parent’s boat, then as a nine year-old, Belcher competed in his first race at the Southport Yacht Club in 1989.

In his teens, and just after winning the 420 World Championships as a junior, Belcher was given a unique opportunity when John Coates invited him to carry a flag at the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Belcher said it was in that moment, carrying the flag, his dream of becoming an Olympian was born.

Belcher combined with Beijing 2008 Olympic Champion, Malcolm Page in the 470-class boat to win the 2010 and 2011 World Championships and at London 2012, Belcher's Olympic dream was realised alongside Page.


The duo scored five victories out of the ten races prior to the medal race and, apart from one ninth, did not finish outside the top five. Their second-place finish in the medal race was more than enough to ensure that Belcher made a golden Olympic debut and Page went back to back.

After London, Page retired and Belcher teamed up with newcomer Will Ryan, but one key partnership was maintained – with Belcher's Ukrainian coach Victor Kovalenko known as the ‘Medal Maker’.


In their first World Championships in 2013, the new combination of Belcher and Ryan won the world title. Their successful partnership continued when at Rio 2016, the team won the silver medal.

Kovalenko said he knew he was guiding a very gifted sailor in Mat Belcher - and he wasn’t wrong, with Belcher collecting 12 global medals and 10 titles so far along with numerous awards and accolades such as World Sailor of the Year.

“He is calm, balanced and very good at making decisions under pressure. He could be Prime Minister,” Kovalenko said of Belcher.

At Tokyo 2020, Mat Belcher and Will Ryan confirmed their place in the history books after clinching gold in a poignant, emotion-fuelled race in the men's 470 at Enoshima.

The five-time World Champions entered the medal race with an almost unbeatable 20-point lead, and only needed to avoid any false start penalties to be crowned Olympic Champions. But after taking no risks at the start line, the champions worked through the field and won the medal race in commanding fashion.

Mat was later announced Australia's Flag Bearer at the Closing Ceremony.

In October 2022 Belcher announced his retirement from Olympic sailing.

Read More

Mat Belcher's Olympic moments


Career Highlights

Having two amazing children whilst competing between London 2012 to Rio 2016, Anton & Amelie

2012 London & Tokyo 2020 Olympic Champion & 2013 Rolex World Sailor of the Year.
Eight times World Champion 470M (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019)


Primary: The Southport School, Gold Coast QLD
Secondary: The Southport School, Gold Coast QLD
Tertiary: Bachelor of Commerce - Bond University (2001-2009); Master of Project Management (2012- ) , Master of Valuation and Property Development (2012-)


Coach: Victor Kovalenko (2001 - 2022)
Institute/Academy: Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) & Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS)
Primary Training Base: Middle Harbour Yacht Club, NSW
Secondary Training Base: Southport Yacht Club, QLD