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Festival of Sails 2017

Belcher and Ryan still on top after ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami

by Mat Belcher and Will Ryan on 5 Feb 2014
Mat Belcher and Will Ryan in action at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami 2014 © Victor Kovalenko
Following their results at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Aussie sailors Mat Belcher and Will Ryan talk about the event and how the winning streak has ended, but they remain on top.

Well we've been told many times that the streak could not go on forever - usually we would both respond saying 'Why Not? :) Somebody has to win!'

I guess many of you are used to us reporting our latest win on the Road-to-Rio. Today is the exception, however we are pleased to still report we were successful in securing the Silver Medal at the Miami leg of the ISAF Sailing World Cup.

In what was the lightest event wind-wise since we teamed up 14-months ago; we managed only two full scheduled days of sailing for a total of six races prior to the medal race. The biggest challenge of the week for competitors was tallying up more than 35hours on the water as the race committee did their best to try to get races away in the un-cooperative conditions. While we did get the chance to take it in turns in the coach boat to go to Starbucks, we did our best to use this extra time on the water to improve our light-air sailing after a slow start to the regatta.

Coming from the Australian summer sea breezes we found ourselves behind the speed of the young French team Sofian Bouvet/Jeremy Mion and local Americans Stu McNay and Dave Hughes; and both these teams sailed exceptional regattas. As we entered the medal race we found ourselves 14 points adrift of the leading pair, the American team being the boat that last beat Mat with former crew Mal Page before the winning streak started back in 2011. With a number of other teams also close behind on points it was promising to have a strong medal race performance under pressure, and with the Americans slipping - we overtook into second place overall.


The winning streak is over, but we are pleased to achieve second place - This event puts in perspective how amazing the streak was when conditions can play such a big part of it. It is a good reminder that the competition is certainly there and if we're not on our game we will get beaten! With new ISAF Rankings Release yesterday, we still sit firmly in the top spot. click here to see the rankings]

After six months off the circuit it was great to be back racing against familiar faces and to have most of the top 15 teams to measure against as we prepare towards the European Season. After some time out of the 470 program, we are happy with our own performance and development during the week and we have certainly learnt some valuable lessons focusing towards Rio.

Thank you again for all of your support and comments. For the team it is now back to Sorrento, Australia for the Australian Open 470 nationals from the 19th to 24th of February. Belcher Ryan 2016

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