Western Australians, Tessa Parkinson and Elise Rechichi had sailed together for four years prior to Beijing 2008. In a 2006 Olympic test event in China, Rechichi contracted a virulent virus from contact with the polluted waters and was laid low for almost a year, losing 20 percent of her body weight in the process. Hampered by equipment failure, they finished eighteenth in the 470s at the 2007 world championships in Cascais, Portugal. That world championship was the selection regatta for Beijing 2008 and their relatively lowly placing meant that they just crept into the fleet to compete for the gold medal a year later. The pair improved to third at the 2008 world championships, which gave them confidence of a competitive performance at Beijing.
At Beijing 2008, they won the gold medal from the Dutch and Brazilian crews and, emulated the feat of Jennifer Armstrong and Belinda Stowell on Sydney Harbour in 2000. On the same day in Beijing, Malcolm Page and Nathan Wilmot won the gold medal in the men’s 470 class. Victor Kovalenko coached all three Olympic champion 470 crews.