Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

2014 Aquece Rio Int'l Sailing Regatta - Two gold medals for Australia

by Cora Zillich on 10 Aug 2014
Mat Belcher and Will Ryan ISAF ©
2014 Aquece Rio International Sailing Regatta - Olympic Gold medallist Mat Belcher (QLD) and World Champion crew Will Ryan (QLD) have brought the Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2014 to a successful close by winning Gold in the Men’s 470 fleet. Earlier in the day Tom Burton (NSW) won the Gold medal in the Laser class.

This brings Australia’s medal tally at the first Olympic test event in Rio de Janeiro Brazil to four medals across the six events with Australian participation, including two Gold and two Silver. Already yesterday London 2012 Olympic Gold medallists Nathan Outteridge (NSW) and Iain Jensen (NSW) won the Silver medal in the 49er class. The second Silver medal for Australia was won in the Nacra 17, the new mixed-gender multihull class in the 2016 Olympic program, by dual Olympic Silver Medallist from Sydney 2000 and Beijing 2008 Darren Bundock (NSW) and London 2012 Olympic Silver Medallist crew Nina Curtis (NSW).

On the last day of the Aquece Rio Regatta 2014 a south easterly breeze in between five - ten knots allowed all the fleets to conclude their racing on the Pão de Açucar race track. The breeze died towards the latter part of the afternoon as the 470 fleets wrapped up proceedings.

Mat Belcher and Will Ryan made sure of their Men's 470 gold whilst Laser Tom Burton took a four point lead over Nick Thompson (GBR) into the Medal Race. With the Briton unable to take to the course due to injury the Australian had a strong advantage over the chasing pack.

Burton came through in sixth in the final Medal Race to take gold in the light breeze and whilst on paper the result seems convincing, it was far from that as Burton explained.

'It was pretty tough. I had a really good start and was going good in the first half of the first beat but I got a bit conservative and made a bit of an error and ended up at the back pretty quick. The rest of the race was pretty stressful.'

Things could have been tighter for the Australian had Thompson raced which Burton was quick to recognise, 'Yesterday I didn't see him in that second race where he got hit but obviously he got hit pretty badly after seeing him today. It would have changed things up so who knows what would have happened.'

For Burton and the fleet it has been a good test and offered a glimpse of what will occur in two years time. With a mixed bag of conditions the best Laser sailor will win Olympic gold as Burton concluded, 'If you're good across the board you'll be good here. The conditions are pretty hard and tricky, but Sydney Harbour is not so different and we like it. Finishing here in first is great and that’s the plan for 2016.'



Western Australian Laser sailor Matt Wearn finished fifth, underlining the strength of the Australian Laser squad around coach and Sydney 2000 Bronze Medallist Michael Blackburn.

In the Men’s 470 fleet Mat Belcher and Will Ryan brought a 17 point advantage into the Medal Race and whilst they got the job done their ninth place finish was far from their best. 'It was tricky final race,' admitted Ryan. 'We were comfortable with what we had to do in the final race so we didn't really feel any pressure or stress. It was the first time we sailed on that course and we rushed into it a bit. It was nice with some good racing in the fleet and we learnt something new and we'll practice some more on that area again.'

British pair Luke Patience and Elliot Willis took a third and walk away with silver whilst Paul Snow Hansen and Dan Willcox (NZL) won the Medal Race to take bronze.

A lot of positives can be taken from the week by the Men's 470 fleet but Belcher knows there is work to do two years out from the Olympic Games, even with an excellent performance, 'A lot of the athletes that haven't performed to their expectation here will turn round and say they've got plenty time so they'll be okay. And the guys that did perform get confidence from it. It depends on the situation and for us we are really happy to come here and win. We knew if we sailed well we could but it's nice to get a bit of confidence. We've got to spend some more time here and the other athletes will do the same.'

Attention now turns to the Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championship, which takes place in northern Spain from 8-21 September 2014.

The Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds is the first Olympic Qualification regatta for the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition. 50% of Rio 2016 spots will be decided in Santander. The Australian Sailing Team and Squad will be there in full force.

For further information on Aquece Rio visit the event websites or here.

Final rankings of Australian Sailing’s Athletes at the 2014 Rio Test Event:

470M
Mat Belcher (QLD) / Will Ryan (QLD) - first
Angus Galloway (QLD) / Rob Crawford (NSW) - 21st

Laser
Tom Burton (NSW) - first
Matt Wearn (WA) - fifth

49er
Nathan Outteridge (NSW) / Iain Jensen (NSW) - second
Steve Thomas (WA) / Rhys Mara (NSW) - 12th

49erFX
Olivia Price (NSW) / Eliza Solly (VIC) - fourth

Nacra17
Darren Bundock (NSW) / Nina Curtis (NSW) - second
Euan McNicol (NSW) / Lucinda Whitty (NSW) - ninth

Laser Radial
Ashley Stoddart (QLD) - 18th

T Clewring AC72Phuket Raceweek 2016 660x82Barz Optics - Kids range

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
The importance of being Alive
Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, the team have lined up for a lot of things, won plenty and nabbed a record, as well. She’s presently in a yard in the Philippines having a minor refit in readiness for the Australian season. It will commence with the upcoming Brisbane to Keppel and then head sharply into this year’s Hobart.
Posted on 10 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May