He has achieved at the highest level in both world championship and Olympic arenas to be one of this country’s great sailors.
Malcolm Page has won multiple world titles but his name was written in the history books when he became the first Australian sailor to successfully defend a gold medal at an Olympics Games – and did so alongside two different skippers.
It was a remarkable feat for the likeable Page from Sydney who as a child suffered seasickness and admits he was not an immediate convert to sailing. But Page conquered the malady to be one of the greatest 470 dinghy sailors of all time. He went on to captain the Australian Sailing team between 2005 and 2012. Page competed in the Athens Olympics Games in 2004 and won his first Olympic gold with Nathan Wilmot at the 2008 Beijing Games and his second with Mat Belcher at the 2012 London Olympics, sailing out of Weymouth.
No other Olympic sailor from Australia before or since has achieved this astonishing feat.
Page had to strip more than 14kg off his tall, lean frame to be the right weight to sail in the light winds at the Beijing Olympics. He was allowed to be a little heavier for Weymouth but dieting became part of his life. In London, his feat of defending gold was heralded as one of the top achievements of the Australian Olympic team and he was afforded the honour of carrying the Australian flag in the closing ceremony.
Page started sailing at the Hunters Hill Sailing Club in a Manly Junior.
Like many sailors, Page has his own set of superstitions. It’s absolutely crucial not to have a hair cut in the middle of an event as he has evidence that this can have a disastrous effect – evidenced by only qualifying silver fleet in Hyeres, 2007 having had a haircut on measurement day! Perhaps it was Page’s mum who set him down the path of superstitions when, with her insistence that he wore the same clothes each day of his first national championships, he won the event. A pair of shorts that were so small they gave him a stomach ache are no doubt kept in the family archives somewhere.
Page’s long list of achievements includes winning four world 470 class titles with Nathan Wilmot and three with Mat Belcher. Malcolm Page has not just kept his sailing achievements to the 470 class. Among others, he has also excelled in the Farr 40 and Sydney 38 classes, claiming a pre-world championship in the Farr 40 class. He is an inductee into the Australian Sports Hall of Fame and in 2011 was inducted into the Australian Institute of Sport’s Best of the Best.
Malcolm was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to sport in 2009.