Please select your home edition
Edition
Sailing Raceboats 2016/17 RS Feva 728x90

470 World Championship - Piece of history on offer for Australians

by Craig Heydon on 2 Aug 2013
Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan racing in Europe at the 470 World Championship 470 European Championships http://www.openeuropeans2011.com/eventsites/gallery_euros.asp?eventid=65354&typ=13
Mathew Belcher has the opportunity to continue his record breaking winning run when the 2013 470 World Championship begins in La Rochelle, France, on Monday.

Belcher and former crew Malcolm Page became the first sailors to win three 470 World Championship titles in a row when they won gold last year with Belcher looking to extend that to four with new team mate Will Ryan.

The London 2012 gold medallist has won 16 regattas straight, the last eight with Ryan, including the recent 2013 470 European Championship.

'Our performance since teaming up has been great, in some areas remarkable,' said Belcher. 'We really couldn’t have expected anymore, we’re certainly enjoying what we’re doing and are looking forward to where we can take the next step.

'The main thing for Will and I is to focus on our performance,' he said. 'To even be in a position to think about winning is remarkable, we’re a new team who have only been sailing together for nine months. I don’t think any new team in their first year together has been in the position we are now.'

As world number ones Belcher and Ryan are sure to come under added scrutiny in La Rochelle, but it’s not something that Belcher pays too much attention to.

'We always have a target on our back, not in a negative way, but our performances justify it,' said Belcher. 'If any other team had achieved the same they would also have people taking notice. The respect we have in the fleet, and the respect we give to our competitors make for great racing. It’s the same for all, about being the best on the water.'

Ryan said that he’s looking forward to the challenge of competing in the biggest 470 event of the year, with the 2013 World Championship also the 50th anniversary of the class.

'I feel like we’ve had about as good a start as possible to our sailing together,' said Ryan. 'Each event is just about trying to learn and improve as a combination to feel more comfortable, and we’ve been very fortunate over the events we’ve had to have a full range of conditions and lots of race opportunities.

'This event is different in that there is the added pressure of it being a World Championship, but I think the biggest challenge will be the sheer number of boats,' he said. 'It’s the 50th anniversary of the class and it looks like there will be over 120 boats in the men’s fleet.

'The first few days will be about just trying to keep clear of the other teams a little but once the finals series begins it will be the same guys and it will be the same game of trying to sail well and be consistent to be in with a chance on the final day,' said Ryan.

Joining Belcher and Ryan in the men’s fleet will be fellow Australians Matthew and Robert Crawford, Alexander and Patrick Conway and Scott Cotton and Tom Potter.

A number of new Australian crews will be lining up in the women’s fleet, including Beijing 2008 gold medallist Elise Rechichi and two-time Olympic rower Sarah Cook.

Rechichi and Cook have made impressive progress since teaming up at the end of last year and are looking forward to contesting their first World Championship together.

'Our team is moving forward well. Elise and I have a great dynamic and partnership,' said Cook. 'It was really important for us to determine whether we were compatible as a team even before we set foot in a boat. It’s a unique situation, to have an Olympic gold medallist helm with the foresight, commitment and understanding to be prepared to teach a non-sailor to crew. Then to find a new crew who’s a dual-Olympian in a sport that is physically, mentally and technically difficult, and was willing to go back to the bottom of the tree in a new sport.

'I think we knew all along that this could work but even we’re surprised as to how far we’ve come in only nine months, especially when we were told from the outset that we wouldn’t be able to make it around the course by the Worlds,' she said. 'Our preparations here are going well. We have been spending time addressing the biggest priorities we identified following the European Championship and our training camp in Spain. So far we’ve been making some great gains, as well as familiarising ourselves with the unique conditions in La Rochelle.

It’s been a rapid turnaround for Cook, who a year ago was rowing for Australia at London 2012.

'This time last year I was racing at the Games in the Women’s Eight for Australia,' she said. 'I was also interviewing for jobs overseas, so I didn’t really see my life taking this turn. I didn’t meet Elise till I was at the airport, preparing to leave London. However once I met her I couldn’t shake the thought of switching sports so I turned down the job offer in New York and enrolled in a Learn to Sail course. By mid-October I was planning my Rio 2016 470 campaign!'

Sisters Sasha and Jaime Ryan will also be racing in the women’s fleet in France, along with Jacqueline Gurr and Amelia Catt, and Lucy Shephard and Aurora Paterson.

Racing begins in La Rochelle on Monday and continues until Saturday.
Australian Sailing Team website
Musto AUS 2017 660x82 1Harken AUS HL Snatch Block 660x82Ensign Bavaria C57 April 2017

Related Articles

World Masters Games - Medals for Australia, Britain and New Zealand
The medals were shared between three nations as the sailing competition in the World Masters Games came to an end The Gold medals were shared between three nations as the sailing competition in the World Masters Games came to an end in Auckland today. Soon after Dan Slater (NZL) crossed the finish line in the final race in the Laser class, someone yelled out that he had finally picked up a Games medal at the fourth time of trying.
Posted today at 12:07 pm
Heiner's consistency pays dividends in Sailing World Cup Hyères
Heiner has been one of the most reliable performers with a string of top five finishes to lead in the Finn. Out of the 534 racers from 52 nations, racing across the ten Olympic events, Foiling Formula Kiteboarding and 2.4 Norlin OD, Heiner has been one of the most reliable performers with a string of top five finishes to lead in the Finn.
Posted on 27 Apr
World Cup Series Hyeres – Dylan and Stuart hold their nerve on Day 3
Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell held on to their 49er World Cup lead in Hyeres, France, on Thursday Wind conditions built later than anticipated on this third day of competition, and knowing that Friday’s forecast looks set to bring big breeze and potentially a day confined to shore, sailors and race management alike were eager to eke out the best conditions and complete the day’s schedule.
Posted on 27 Apr
Points close as Heiner takes lead on Day 3 of World Cup Series Hyeres
Nicholas Heiner from the Netherlands has risen to the top of the Finn rankings after the third day France’s Fabian Pic also moved up, to second, while Great Britain’s Ben Cornish didn’t have the best day, and dropped to third. Race wins went to Brazil’s Jorge Zarif and Norway’s Anders Pedersen.
Posted on 27 Apr
World Masters Games - Bilger's success in the wind
As a wind predictor, Jon Bilger thinks he’s got an advantage when it comes to the World Masters Games As a wind predictor, Jon Bilger thinks he’s got an advantage when it comes to the World Masters Games but the only issue is his predictions are available for all of his rivals. He still hasn’t been tempted to put out any rogue information, though.
Posted on 27 Apr
Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Day 2 - Australian 470 team on track
Mat Belcher and Will Ryan were in fine spirits as they came off the water after outperforming the 470 Men’s fleet Rio 2016 Silver medallists Mat Belcher and Will Ryan were in fine spirits as they came off the water after outperforming the 470 Men’s fleet with a third and first in the two races
Posted on 27 Apr
Zhik 29er Worlds 2018 - making it easier
RHKYC announces L’hotel Island South as the Official Hotel Partner for the Zhik Hong Kong 29er World Championships 2018. Race Chairman of the Zhik Hong Kong 29er World Championships 2018, Peter Backe commenting on the announcement said, “Having an official hotel will make things so much easier for the competitors. Participants will have all their information and travel needs covered for the event. With transportation included to the race venue daily, and news that the committee will post a second notice board
Posted on 27 Apr
Masters Games - Volvo and Olympic father and son race two-hander
Report from Day 3 of the World Masters Games being sailed at Torbay Sailing Club in the Weta and Laser classes Former Flying Dutchman crew Murray Rae was keen to tackle the 2017 World Masters Games at Torbay, Auckland, with his Rome Olympics teammate. But when Ron Watson wasn’t available he was able to call on a veteran of seven America’s Cups and five round the world yacht races. The alternative also happened to be his son.
Posted on 26 Apr
Sailing World Cup Hyères –Day 2– Zegers and van Veen show how its done
Afrodite Zegers and Anneloes van Veen were unstoppable on day two, winning both Women's 470 races in convincing style Out of the 534 competitors from 52 nations racing across ten Olympic events, Open Kiteboarding and 2.4 Norlin OD, the Dutch team were the standout performers.
Posted on 26 Apr
Australian sailors in action on Day 1 at World Cup Hyeres
Classic Hyeres conditions for the first day of the third World Cup event in the 2017 series Classic Hyeres conditions for the first day of the third World Cup event in the 2017 series, with the Australian Sailing Team in action in four classes as they start the long haul towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Posted on 26 Apr