Aussies win 3rd Olympic sailing gold
By BERNIE WILSON,
Updated August 10, 2012
WEYMOUTH, England (AP) For the third time in the London Olympic sailing regatta, an Aussie crew ended up taking a celebratory swim.
Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page of Australia held off their British rivals to win the gold medal in the men's 470 class Friday, guaranteeing that the team from Down Under will finish with more sailing golds than the host country.
Shortly after crossing the line, Belcher and Page capsized their boat in celebration on a spectacular sunny day on Weymouth Bay.
Britain's Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell sailed well early in the medals race before being overhauled by the Aussies on the first downwind leg. Patience and Bithell took the silver, and Argentina's Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente won the bronze.
Soon there were three boats upside down in the water. Patience and Bithell, and Calabrese and de la Fuente also capsized their boats. The six sailors congratulated each other together.
Australia has three sailing golds to Britain's one. Britain has only one more chance to win gold, in the women's 470.
The Australians have a chance at a fourth gold, in women's match racing.
Australia finished second in the medals race and the British crew was fourth. The British needed to finish ahead of the Aussies, with a boat between, to win the gold.
Page was on the winning 470 crew in Beijing, sailing with Nathan Wilmot.
When they came ashore, Belcher and Page were hoisted onto teammates' shoulders and each was given an Australian flag.
Australia's other gold medalists in this regatta were Tom Slingsby in the Laser class and Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen in the 49er skiff.
The medals race was abandoned Thursday because of light wind.