Please select your home edition
Edition
X-Yachts AUS X4 728 - 3

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
Dubarry AUS 2017 660x82 4RS Sailing 660x82 AUSHarken AUS HL Snatch Block 660x82

Related Articles

Warming up for SB20 Worlds in Hobart
In four races sailed this summer, there have been eight different placegetters, with seconds separating the top boats. In the four races sailed so far this summer, there have been eight different placegetters, with seconds separating the top boats.
Posted today at 12:37 am
Sailors battle on opening day of World Cup Series Japan
Burton and Thompson got off to the best start in the 50-boat Laser fleet sharing the top two places. Burton and Thompson got off to the best start in the 50-boat Laser fleet sharing the top two places with Kontides following in seventh.
Posted on 17 Oct
Discover sailing day at Albert Park Lake
This is a free introduction to dinghy sailing for people of all ages at Melbourne's safest and convenient place to sail Come out for a sail on a dinghy class sailboat, chat to a club member, go for a walk around Albert Park Lake, and relax at the lunchtime BBQ on the club's upstairs decking. New style RS Quest and RS Feva sailboats will be among the boats used.
Posted on 14 Oct
RS Sailing Autmn – New RS Zest and Autumn Sale
20 years of experience in the design, production and usage, training and club boats lead to a long list of developments The opportunity to comprehensively move the game forward led us to replace our popular RS Quba model with an entirely new boat that we believe renders existing rivals obsolete.
Posted on 13 Oct
2017-18 World Cup Series - Japan lead-up to suit Aussie sailors
Victor Kovalenko indicated that Australia’s proximity to 2020 Olympics host nation should provide our sailors respite Australian Sailing Head Coach Victor Kovalenko has indicated on the eve of the first round of the 2017-18 World Cup Series in Japan that Australia’s proximity to the 2020 Olympics host nation should provide our elite sailors respite from the drawbacks of regular long-haul travel.
Posted on 13 Oct
Japanese opening for the 2017-18 World Cup Series
Olympic medallists, World and Continental Champions and leading World Cup contenders will head to the Japanese town Sailing in the Men's and Women's One Person Dinghy (Laser/Radial), Men's and Women's Two Person Dinghy (470), Men's and Women's Skiff (49er/49erFX) and Men's and Women's Windsurfing (RS:X) the competition will be intense with sailors eager to test themselves against their rivals on the World Cup circuit.
Posted on 12 Oct
Queensland Impulse State Championships - Tough fight for podium
2017 Downer Queensland Impulse State Championships held over Queen’s Birthday long weekend at Port Curtis Sailing Club The 2017 Downer Queensland Impulse State Championships were held over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend at Port Curtis Sailing Club, Gladstone.
Posted on 10 Oct
Rooster RS Aerocup - Day 2
The RS Aerocup at Lake Garda saw a slight increase in breeze for Day 2. Like clockwork the southerly breeze came down The RS Aerocup at Lake Garda saw a slight increase in breeze for Day 2. Like clockwork the southerly breeze came down the lake in time for the 13:00hrs start after the fresh morning northerly had dissipated. The 50 RS Aero entries allow for Class racing of the three RS Aero fleets with three separate starts.
Posted on 10 Oct
Rooster RS Aerocup - Day 1 report
RS Aerocup kicked of today with 50 entries from 13 countries signed up providing an awesomely international fleet set The RS Aerocup kicked of today with 50 entries from 13 countries signed up providing an awesomely international fleet set for some intense but friendly racing, extending the season at Italy’s legendary venue. The 50 RS Aero entries allow for Class racing of the three RS Aero fleets with three separate starts.
Posted on 9 Oct
New Moon wins 5.5 Metre season finale after wind abandons Thunersee
The overnight rain had cleared and after a brief wait ashore on Sunday morning the fleet was sent out in a light breeze. So, New Moon, BAH 21 (Christoph Burger, Flavio Marazzi, Peter Vlasov) takes a second regatta win in a row, after taking the win in Cannes last week. Second place goes Marie-Françoise XIX, SUI 228 (Jürg Menzi, Dino Fumasoli, Christof Wilke) with Nina, SUI 215 (Heinz Saurer, Hans Scheidegger, Maja Siegenthaler) in third.
Posted on 8 Oct