Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

On a winning streak - Mat Belcher and Will Ryan win their first major

by Mathew Belcher on 18 Jun 2013
Mat Belcher and Will Ryan win their first major .. .
London 2012 470 Gold Medalist Mat Belcher has won 16 regattas in a row. Hi and his crew Will Ryan report ´'After winning our first major title in the form of the European Championships, it is exciting to be able to share with you all our progress as we take another step forward as a team.

As Will's first European Championship win, this is Coach Victor Kovalenko's 10th European Title, and extends Mathews unbeaten streak to 16 regattas in a row! We were not declared official European Champion's as Australia is just invited as a nation to compete, but we should really be eligible as we spend enough time over here!


The event was held from Formia, Italy on the coastline halfway between Rome and Naples. It was certainly a pleasant contrast to enjoy the warm blue waters and sunshine with temperatures in the high 20's after the last cold event in Holland. The local seabreeze made for really interesting racing with the ability for many different teams to be 'looking famous' at various intervals in each race not that dissimilar to a game of snakes and ladders.

Predicted to be a light wind venue, we were lucky to enjoy a well developed seabreeze for the first few days of racing before it gradually lightened with only one race being completed on the final day of Finals Series.

After finishing qualification in first place we did our best to sail simple to avoid any high scores, and at the same time it gave us the opportunity to work on our lighter wind fleet sailing and speed. As a team we had not raced much in these conditions so it was very positive to feel that we were improving together.

The French team of Mion and Bouvet had a great final series and coming into the last race of the final series we were tied on points, but with the French team having a worse discard score than us and an 8-boat medal race being trialled for the event, it opened the tactical game a little. But as we prepared for the race the wind died away and it was left to a deciding medal race of who-beat-who the following day.



It felt like a longer than usual wait before the seabreeze finally arrived; but after watching the girls medal race the breeze continued to slowly build to 8/9knots allowing open pumping for our turn. We executed a nice start to windward of the French team, but they immediately began to engage us in the hope to gain a penalty with a slow luff.

After tacking out to gain a little separation it became a bit of an upwind pumping race but Mat did a great job linking together a few of the narrow pressure lines to allow us to round the first windward mark in second place. From there we were able to protect our position against the French team, and on the second upwind we actually managed to pass the leading British boat to give us the race win and the open title by 10 points!

Thank you again to all for your support and messages. The continued support of the Australian Sailing Team, ABeam Consulting, Wyndham Harbour, Southport Yacht Club, Royal Queensland Yacht Club, Audi, Omega, Maersk, Revium, 2XU, Maui Jim, Hamilton Island, our friends and supporters, campaign godfather Marcus Blackmore and of course the time and care of Coach Victor Kovalenko are invaluable.

For now Mathew returns home to Australia for university exams, with the next being the 470 World Championships and 50th Anniversary Celebrations of the 470 in La Rochelle, France.

Full results from the European Championships are at website

With video of the final medal race viewable here

You can also follow our daily updates on our Facebook page here
or on our team website here

Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearProtector - 660 x 82RS Sailing 660x82

Related Articles

Line 7 Marine announces sponsorship of Etchells Australasian Champs
The championship, which takes place in Mooloolaba, brings together the best Etchells competitors from around Australia. The championship, which takes place in June in Mooloolaba, brings together the best Etchells competitors from around Australia, and the Pacific region.
Posted on 29 May
Olympic sailing returns to Santander for World Cup Series finale
Rio gold medallists Giles Scott and Peter Burling will be in Bermuda for the America's Cup so will miss out on Santander Across two weeks of competition in 2014, 400,000 spectators were treated to an elite competition and cultural festivities. Fast forward to 2017 and anticipation is rising once again as the city combines sport and entertainment for the World Cup Final.
Posted on 29 May
AkzoNobel named as official supplier to the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard
The competing boats– including team AkzoNobel’s brand new Volvo Ocean 65– have already been coated with Awlgrip products AkzoNobel will be the official coatings supplier to the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard in 2017-18, after signing a deal to ensure that the fleet of Volvo Ocean 65 racing yachts will be coated with the company’s International and Awlgrip range of products
Posted on 29 May
America's Cup - Day 3 Preview and Foiling Pointers + Video
Day 3 of the 35th America's Cup has dawned bright and sunny with a fresher breeze than yesterday. Day 3 of the 35th America's Cup has dawned bright and sunny with a fresher breeze than yesterday. Three races will be sailed today, beginning at 2.00pm local time. Toyota/Vodafone's reporter Martin Tasker previews the day's action and background. Tune in for Facebook LIVE Emirates Emirates Team New Zealand? dock out show (1pm Bermuda / 4am NZT). Iain Murray gives some foiling pointers.
Posted on 29 May
Extreme Sailing Series - The fine art of being Race Director
While the fleet of GC32s fly around a racecourse set metres from the shore to the delight of thousands of onlookers While the fleet of GC32s fly around a racecourse set metres from the shore to the delight of thousands of onlookers, behind the scenes there is an expert team making it all happen seamlessly. This team is led by Extreme Sailing Series™ Race Director, John Craig.
Posted on 29 May
Louis Vuitton America's Cup – More action shots by Jude Robertson
Photographer Jude Robertson has provided this gallery of images from day one Photographer Jude Robertson has provided this gallery of images from day one
Posted on 28 May
Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers –Day 1 images by Jude Robertson
Photographer Jude Robertson has provided this gallery of images from day one Photographer Jude Robertson has provided this gallery of images from day one
Posted on 28 May
Oracle Team USA opens 35th America's Cup with a convincing win
Oracle Team USA opened its quest for a three-peat with a win over Groupama Team France on Saturday afternoon in Bermuda. In picture perfect conditions, skipper Jimmy Spithill won the first start of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers with a timed run to the starting line.
Posted on 27 May
Thrilling races during tropical 33rd Delta Lloyd Regatta
The organisation was testing new formats for 49er, 49erFX and RS:X. It was a great success and made the finals exciting Medemblik welcomed a lot of talent, including those preparing for World Championships and World Cups, and some starting new Olympic campaigns. There were also many Olympic Rio sailors who’ve just started their season again.
Posted on 27 May
Onboard Phaedo^3's Transpacific Course World Record run across Pacific
The past few years we have had a good share of success with at least one wrong turn in our racing program. When Brian Thompson and I were planning the Phaedo3 program we had a wish list of races and records which would be nice to attempt if we had a MOD70.
Posted on 27 May