Born in Zimbabwe, Belinda Stowell migrated to Australia in 1991 and began competing with Jenny Armstrong in 1998 in the 470 class. A ninth placing in the 1999 World Championships and then a second place a year later put them as medal hopes at the Sydney 2000 Games. On Sydney Harbour, in The Ugly Duckling, they won the gold medal, from the American and Ukraine crews, and became the first Australian women to win a sailing medal at the Olympic Games.
Armstrong and Stowell competed at the Athens 2004 Games in the hope of winning back-to-back Olympic titles, but they finished fourteenth.
Stowell returned to Olympic competition at the London 2012 Games where she partnered with Beijing gold medallist Elise Rechichi in the 470 class. The duo finished in seventh position.