Malcolm Page takes to the 18ft skiff

470 double Olympic Gold medallist gets some excitement

Friday September 28th 2012, Author: Frank Quealey, Location: Australia

Olympic 470 Gold medallist Malcolm Page has announced he will skipper an 18ft Skiff with the Australian 18 Footer League in the 2012-2013 Season on Sydney Harbour.

Page has a marvellous record over several years of international competition at the top of the 470 class and was rightly honoured at the London 2012 Olympics when he was chosen to be Australia’s Flag Bearer at the Closing Ceremony. He will team with Darren McKavanagh and Cameron McDonald on The Kitchen Maker in what promises to be a very competitive challenger for the major 18ft Skiff championships.

Page, who is the most successful 470 Mens sailor in the 49 years history of the class, is looking forward to his campaign in the 18s: “I’m happy to be back into the 18s after a successful Olympic career. I see this as a great way to have fun with the sport I love."

Aside from his Gold Medals at each of the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics, Page has won seven 470 World titles (ten 470 medals in total) as well as numerous Australian 470 titles, and has been Australian Sailing Team captain since 2005. He received further national honours in 2009 when he was named Australian Yachtsman of the Year.

Sheet hand on The Kitchen Maker, Cameron McDonald is an extremely experienced 18ft Skiff sailor with an impressive record in three separate skiff classes. He began sailing the 18s in Sydney in 1996 (going into his 17th skiff season) and was runner up in the 2000 Giltinan Championship. He also won the 2007 Interdominion 12ft Skiff Championship and was placed 3rd at the 2008 International 14 World Championship in Germany.

For the third member of the team, bowman Darren McKavanagh, it is a unique situation as he also doubles as sponsor of the skiff through his company, The Kitchen Maker. Darren has been sailing the 18s on and off since 2001 and has taken over the skiff which was previously sailed by Andy Budgen, of the UK, as Project One Racing.

“I have enjoyed sailing 18ft Skiffs since 2001 and I have sailing to thank for a lot of good times and opportunities it has given me with work”, Darren said. “I have done a lot of work for other sailors, (League) club members, their friends and families and the club itself."

To make sure his talented team had its best chance of achieving a top result in the season’s major championship events, Darren has purchased a number of new sails and two new masts.

Speaking of his sponsorship Darren added: “I have to thank my suppliers for helping me to sponsor the boat. They give me free material which is as good as cash to my business and is less impact to their bottom lines. I hope that by incorporating a number of companies in the deal I have brought another way of sourcing sponsors to the fleet."

The team’s first race together will be on Sunday 14 October in the Australian 18 Footer League’s 3-Buoys Challenge on Sydney Harbour.

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