Please select your home edition
Edition
Newport Boat Show 728x90

On a winning streak - Mat Belcher and Will Ryan win their first major

by Mathew Belcher on 18 Jun 2013
Mat Belcher and Will Ryan win their first major .. .
London 2012 470 Gold Medalist Mat Belcher has won 16 regattas in a row. Hi and his crew Will Ryan report ´'After winning our first major title in the form of the European Championships, it is exciting to be able to share with you all our progress as we take another step forward as a team.

As Will's first European Championship win, this is Coach Victor Kovalenko's 10th European Title, and extends Mathews unbeaten streak to 16 regattas in a row! We were not declared official European Champion's as Australia is just invited as a nation to compete, but we should really be eligible as we spend enough time over here!


The event was held from Formia, Italy on the coastline halfway between Rome and Naples. It was certainly a pleasant contrast to enjoy the warm blue waters and sunshine with temperatures in the high 20's after the last cold event in Holland. The local seabreeze made for really interesting racing with the ability for many different teams to be 'looking famous' at various intervals in each race not that dissimilar to a game of snakes and ladders.

Predicted to be a light wind venue, we were lucky to enjoy a well developed seabreeze for the first few days of racing before it gradually lightened with only one race being completed on the final day of Finals Series.

After finishing qualification in first place we did our best to sail simple to avoid any high scores, and at the same time it gave us the opportunity to work on our lighter wind fleet sailing and speed. As a team we had not raced much in these conditions so it was very positive to feel that we were improving together.

The French team of Mion and Bouvet had a great final series and coming into the last race of the final series we were tied on points, but with the French team having a worse discard score than us and an 8-boat medal race being trialled for the event, it opened the tactical game a little. But as we prepared for the race the wind died away and it was left to a deciding medal race of who-beat-who the following day.



It felt like a longer than usual wait before the seabreeze finally arrived; but after watching the girls medal race the breeze continued to slowly build to 8/9knots allowing open pumping for our turn. We executed a nice start to windward of the French team, but they immediately began to engage us in the hope to gain a penalty with a slow luff.

After tacking out to gain a little separation it became a bit of an upwind pumping race but Mat did a great job linking together a few of the narrow pressure lines to allow us to round the first windward mark in second place. From there we were able to protect our position against the French team, and on the second upwind we actually managed to pass the leading British boat to give us the race win and the open title by 10 points!

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

For now Mathew returns home to Australia for university exams, with the next being the 470 World Championships and 50th Anniversary Celebrations of the 470 in La Rochelle, France.

Full results from the European Championships are at website

With video of the final medal race viewable here

You can also follow our daily updates on our Facebook page here
or on our team website here

Barz Optics - FloatersT Clewring J-classSouthern Spars - 100

Related Articles

Edgartown Race Week - Overall report
Four races were held today, in nine - twelve knots from the southwest for the IRC fleet. This is the third leg of the east coast IRC summer series. Four races were held today, in nine - twelve knots from the southwest for the IRC fleet. The three TP52’s had hard fought battles as usual.
Posted today at 6:35 am
Conch Republic Cup - More than just a race to Cuba
When relations between U.S. and Cuba were restored in 2015, Conch Republic Cup was resurrected after a 13-year hiatus. When diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba were restored in 2015, the Conch Republic Cup was resurrected after a forced 13-year hiatus.
Posted today at 6:02 am
Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games - The return of the Radial medallists
China's Lijia Xu, The Netherlands' Marit Bouwmeester/Belgium's Evi Van Acker, medallists will make their Olympic return 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games - China's Lijia Xu, The Netherlands' Marit Bouwmeester and Belgium's Evi Van Acker, medallists from London 2012, will make their Olympic return in the One Person Dinghy (Laser Radial) at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Posted today at 5:28 am
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Lone bullets for the Brits
Despite three more inshore races being held on day five France Blue leads with a similar 11.5 point margin to yesterday 2016 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Despite three more inshore races being held on day five of the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial flagship event for three boat teams with Corinthian crews, France Blue leads with a similar 11.5 point margin to yesterday, but Flanders North Sea is now the team that has relieved France White of second place overall.
Posted today at 2:10 am
Supermaxi Scallywag has her first outing on Sydney Harbour
Scallywag is a 100' Super Maxi Yacht (ex Ragamuffin 100) owned by a HongKong Business man. Scallywag is a 100' Super Maxi Yacht (ex Ragamuffin 100) owned by a HongKong Business man. Yesterday the boat took it first sail on Sydney Harbour in preparation for this weekend's start of the CYCA Land Rover Sydney to Gold Coast Yacht Race
Posted on 28 Jul
Extreme Sailing Series– Oman Air sneak early lead despite bump on nose
Hamburg’s River Elbe in the HafenCity area was transformed into the ultimate test in Stadium Racing today Hamburg’s River Elbe in the HafenCity area was transformed into the ultimate test in Stadium Racing today, with the narrow river, passing traffic, high walls, shifty light winds and strong currents challenging the fleet on the opening day
Posted on 28 Jul
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Week – Quantum Racing top of the pops
Quantum Racing stand on the threshold of their third regatta win of the season after sailing to their fourth win today. The Bay of Palma lived up to its one way traffic reputation for most of the time. The risk-reward equation for those pressing for the pin end launch was high. But significantly both of today’s race winners – Quantum Racing and Bronenosec– favoured the lower risk mid line starts where they had a better chance of coming away from the gun at maximum speed by staying clear of the jousting and jostling
Posted on 28 Jul
Debriefing the 2015-16 Clipper Round The World Race with Huw Fernie
Sail-World talked with Huw Fernie of Visit Seattle to learn more about a Clipper Round The World Race skipper’s life. Skipper Huw Fernie and his Visit Seattle crew took top honors in the Den Helder Northern Seas Challenge, marking their second podium finish during the 2015/16 Clipper Round The World Race. I recently caught up with Fernie to learn more about Visit Seattle’s success in the Den Helder Northern Seas Challenge, and to learn more about the life of a Clipper Round The World Race skipper.
Posted on 28 Jul
Oman Air quick to master light airs on Day 1 of Extreme Sailing Series
Last year’s wild and gusty winds gave way to light simmering airs but the Oman Sail was quick to master the conditions. The compact River Elbe race course, bordered on all sides by cargo containers and all the handling equipment associated with one of the busiest ports in the world, was expected to be tricky for the GC32 fleet even though the race area had been expanded.
Posted on 28 Jul
A Family Tradition - Torben, Martine and Marco Grael - Rio Olympics
Another Grael, Torben’s brother Lars has jumped on the Olympic podium twice so the Grael family has seven Olympic medals Brazilians have great expectations at Rio 2016 for their sailing team. Sailing is the sport which has given the most gold medals to Brazil in the Olympic Games, six, and the second in line with the most Olympic medals, 17.
Posted on 28 Jul