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Australian Sailing Team at the 470 World Championship - Overall

by Australian Sailing Team 9 Aug 21:05 PDT
Day 6 of the Yamaha 470 World Championships, Enoshima, Japan © Junichi Hirai / Bulkhead Magazine Japan

The dramatic correct split-second start decision under fire secured a fifth World Championship title for Australia's Mat Belcher and Will Ryan at the 470 World Championship at Enoshima, the Japanese waters where Tokyo 2020 will unfold in less than a year's time.

Leading into the final medal race on Friday August 9, most interest was in the showdown between Belcher and Ryan and Spain's Jordi Xammar and Nicolas Rodriguez, the two sparring teams separated by only one point, and guaranteed to finish in the top two.

The 470 men got off first for their short, sharp twenty-five minute windward/ leeward race, but the gold medal hunt was over before it had begun when both were among four boats over the start line at the gun.

The Australian crew guessed they had misjudged the start and went back to clear their penalty but the other three continued only to be disqualified, handing a fifth world title to Belcher and Ryan and Belcher's eighth spanning two successful 470 campaigns.

The skipper explained their start, "We thought we were really close coming into the line and everyone was racking up super early. We did talk about it and we said 'hey look, this could be an individual, do we go back or not?'" The team made the right call and re-crossed the start.

Even for someone as experienced as Belcher, the medal race expectation and pressure cannot be underestimated. "I think if you wake up and you are not nervous in a situation like today, then it is most probably time to call it day," Belcher said afterwards. "I said to my wife, 'I feel a bit nervous, it is exciting'. It's been a great battle and that is why I still want to do it. It is not necessarily about what you have won, it is about the partnership, the journey, to be with Will and Victor and to have the opportunity to keep doing what I love doing."

Integral to the Aussies' latest success and celebration was coach Victor Kovalenko who now has 20 gold world championship medals, 10 silver and 3 bronze to his credit, in addition to his Olympic coaching success.

Speaking on the special combo of Becher/Ryan a very proud Kovalenko said: "Mathew and William are so different and complement each other enormously. They have the highest, but also a realistic goal for Tokyo 2020."

Australia's second men's pair of Chris Charlwood and Josh Dawson from WA finished 33rd overall.

Women's 470

Nia Jerwood and Monique De Vries secured Australia's Tokyo 2020 qualification at the Olympic sailing venue with a 9th overall performance. Next up for the Fremantle duo is national selection. "We are not guaranteed to be sent to the Games, but if we keep performing we will be very excited to hopefully represent Australia," Jerwood said.

Many teams will remain in Enoshima for the Tokyo 2020 Test Event from 15-22 August and then onto the Hempel Sailing World Cup Enoshima from 25 August-1 September.


Men (52 boats)

1st Mat Belcher & Will Ryan 4, 4, 2, 1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, (5), 1, 6 = 30 points
33rd Chris Charlwood & Josh Dawson 20, (25), 12, 6, 20, 6, 3, 11, 14, 6, 7 = 105 points

Women (39 boats)

9th Nia Jerwood & Monique de Vries 7, 12, (27), 15, 19, 4, 7, 11, 13, 10, 9, 10 = 117 points

Full results available here.

Live tracking available here.

For more information visit event website.

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