by Craig Heydon
On the final day of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma in Mallorca, Spain, Australia has won a gold and a silver medal.
Belcher and Ryan in the 470 medal race - 44 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre Medal Race,day 6
Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan continued their winning run with gold in the 470 men’s while Tom Burton picked up silver in the Laser class.
Belcher and Ryan headed into the final day with a 17 point lead over their Greek opponents with two double point medal races scheduled.
The Australians were fourth in the first medal race, extending their overall lead to 21 points, and that’s where it stayed after the shifting breeze did not allow time for the final race.
'It’s been a good week,' said Ryan. 'A lot of it has been about our own development and finding where we’re at and we’ve had a full range of conditions which has helped.
'To see where we are in terms of the rest of the fleet and ourselves has been a unique opportunity,' he said. 'The new format put a different spin on it and kind of kept the pressure on all week. It’s been pretty challenging but we’re more than happy with the outcome.'
Belcher said that the week provided a great opportunity to see where they were after training at home over the Australian summer.
'The motivation is right up there, there are a lot of teams that have new partnerships and the ones that haven’t are obviously in very good shape from the Olympics so for us it was essential to be here,' said Belcher. 'We wanted to see where we are as a team and know where we need to go and what we need to do.
'The competition was tough and it was fantastic to continue what we did last year and for Will and I to build confidence, it’s a good position to be in,' he said.
The win continued the pair’s unbeaten run since teaming up at Sail Melbourne last December, while for Belcher his winning streak now goes back to November 2011.
Tom Burton in the Laser medal race - 44 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre Medal Race,day 6
Tom Burton headed into the final day 16 points clear at the top of the Laser leader board but with two double point medal races left to contest there was still a lot to play out before the podium would be decided.
The world number one was third in the opening race but unfortunately was judged to have crossed the start line early in the final race and was excluded, scoring maximum points. The result left Burton second overall after New Zealand’s Andy Maloney won both races, giving him the regatta win.
'It was pretty trick out there, very shifty and very patchy,' said Burton. 'In the first one I got a third which set me up pretty well for the last one, I could only be beaten by one guy and I ended up getting an OCS and he beat me.
'There were a few tough lessons from today and it’s something I won’t do again but things happen and I guess this is what the medal races were designed for and it’s happened,' he said. 'I’m still pretty happy with how things went over the whole week.
'I’m sailing well, my speed is good and I know if I can put it together I’ll be at the front and in contention for the win,' said Burton.
Burton was joined in the Laser medal races by fellow Australians Matthew Wearn and Ryan Palk who had both been towards the front of the fleet all week.
Wearn was seventh in the opening race in moderated conditions and eighth in race two, leaving him sixth overall. Palk crossed the line second in race one and seventh in the final race to move up from his overnight ninth to end up seventh overall.
Earlier in the day Brendan Casey contested the two Finn medal races, ending the regatta in ninth position. Casey was OCS in race one, before finishing the week with a sixth in race two.
Joanna Sterling finished 10th in the RS:X women’s fleet after her first European medal race day. Sterling was 10th in the opening race and ninth in race two.
Full results can be found here.
Will Ryan and Mathew Belcher after winning in Palma - 44 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre