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The Water Shed - 5

Belcher and Ryan on their ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres victory

by Mat Belcher and Will Ryan on 1 May 2013
Ryan and Belcher dominating 470M at ISAF World Sailing Cup 2013 Heyres © Jean-Marie Liot
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres – Aussie 470 sailors Mat Belcher and Will Ryan discuss their latest win and their progress on the road to Rio 2016.

Hello Everyone,

Well it is great to be able to share good news again! On the waters of the south coast of France in the Semaine Olympique World Cup Regatta, we were able to secure our sixth regatta win together as a team; and record Mat's 14th consecutive victory! An impressive record that has not really been done before in sailing at such a high level. This result also secures us the World Number One ranking for another term.

It has been a productive and enjoyable six weeks on the road of the European Sailing Circuit! In terms of our search for high-class events and the chance to build our racing experience - we found exactly what we were looking for. On our arrival in France we were met with conditions ranging from a taste of the infamous mistral to light summer breezes; but the winds of the past week of racing could be referred to at best as 'Variable'!

We were quite fortunate to experience racing across a full range of conditions which not only gave us the opportunity to test and develop across the wind scale; but also at some tough times required us to dig deep and it was very positive to find that element of our sailing. Some of the days the conditions could be summarised by 'even the French boats had a bad day today - so it must have been tough'; but in contrast to day one of the 2012 regatta when Mathew's mast broke while sailing with former crew Malcolm, our days could seem a little easier.

Throughout the event we sailed consistently, which with another new race format being tested by ISAF, we were rewarded by moving into the lead on day four (day two of Finals racing) and we held a 16-point advantage going into the double Medal Race Round of the final day. Despite a delay with no wind and lots of rain; we were actually fortunate to have the best of the wind by the time we raced. In race one Mat weaved us a nice pathway downwind to secure the race and the event victory, giving us the opportunity to focus on enjoying the second medal race. As always when you enjoy something you do your best, and it was a great way to finish the event and our first racing block in Europe with another win -leaving us with 32 points margin to second place.

While ISAF forgot to tell any of the sailors until this week that apparently the overall ISAF World Cup Winner was not to be calculated and awarded; after winning three of the four events (with one discard allowable) we have also declared ourselves unofficial World Cup Winners. It is a very positive achievement for our first six months racing together; and another incredible achievement for Mathew as he has won the past four Titles.

Thankyou 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, our friends and supporters, campaign godfather Marcus Blackmore and of course the time and care of Coach Victor Kovalenko are invaluable.

Next stop will be Medemlbik, Holland for the first event of the Eurosaf ISAF Saiing World Cup Hyeres Team website

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