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Belcher and Ryan claim 10th World Cup gold medal

by Australian Sailing Team 12 Jun 23:59 PDT 4-9 June 2019
2019 Hempel World Cup Series © Sailing Energy / World Sailing

Hempel World Cup Series champions were crowned over the weekend and the 470 Men's pair of Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) were among the victors, securing their tenth World Cup gold medal and their third win at Marseille.

Across six days of racing, the port city in southern France provided sailors with a mix of conditions; strong, survival sailing contrasted with light and shifty conditions. The final day was plagued with a light fickle breeze, only deemed suitable for racing at 16:00 local time. By the time the 6-10 knot north-wester came in, the Laser, Laser Radial and Finn Medal Races had been cancelled and the Men's and Women's 470 only just completed within the timeframe.

All Medal races are available to watch back via the Hempel World Cup Series Final - Marseille YouTube playlist.

470 men & women

Australia's dynamic duo of skipper Belcher and crew Ryan held a 20-point lead ahead of the Men's 470 Medal Race and, barring a disqualification, were assured of gold. The pair stayed out of trouble and came through the finish line in third to confirm gold over the heavy-hitting Spaniards who made a strong start to the regatta but were overcome by the Rio 2016 silver medallists.

Belcher and Ryan's coach Victor Kovalenko reported on the Medal race: "After few attempts to give us a start the race committee was successful. The boys had good start midline and at the first bottom mark they were third, very close to the leaders.

"Second upwind was successful and at the last mark they decided not to play overlapping games with the Italians and gave them second spot. The race was over with third and the Australian flag was raised. The boys were happy to enjoy the champagne from the top of the podium.

"Thank you to Iain Murray and the management group headed by Caroline Brisebois for their big effort to make this special regatta happen in the 470 class," Kovalenko added.

West Australians Nia Jerwood and Monique de Vries finished outside the top ten, 15th on the 470 Women's scoresheet, but take away valuable lessons.

"We experienced the full range of wind conditions and this was great for us to test our speed and setting against the international fleet," Jerwood said.

"We are now heading back to Perth for a solid month of training in preparation for the World Championships and Olympic test event in Japan this August."

Finn

In the run-up to Tokyo 2020, New Zealand's Andy Maloney and Josh Junior are fighting for their country spot in the Finn class, the former taking out the Marseille World Cup Final over his countryman.

Jake Lilley's four top three finishes across the Finn's 10 race series made him the highest-ranked Australian, seventh overall, and Jock Calvert took up the last single-figure place of ninth, saying "It was awesome to race in such a high-quality fleet, I definitely took lots away for the next one. Kiel is up next in a few weeks, then the U23 worlds in Anzio after that."

Competitors will enjoy a short period of rest before the READY STEADY TOKYO - Sailing, Olympic test event in August. The next Hempel World Cup Series kicks off in Enoshima, Japan just days after.

Results:

470 Men's (29 boats)

1st Mat Belcher and Will Ryan 3, 2, 1,1, 2, 1, 1, 2, 2, (21), 6 = 42 points

470 Women's (24 boats)

15th Nia Jerwood and Monique de Vries 13, 21, 19, (BFD 25), 16, 5, 12, 6, 14, 10 = 141 points

Finn Men's (12 Boats)

7th Jake Lilley 3, 8, 9, 2, 9, 1, 2, 9, 8, (13 DNF) = 51 points
9th Jock Calvert 5, 10, (10), 8, 10, 10, 8, 4, 6, 6 = 67 points

For more information visit event website.

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