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Australian Sailing Team at 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami - Overall

by Australian Sailing Team 25 Jan 2020 22:05 PST 19-25 January 2020
Australian Sailing Team at 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami © Sailing Energy / World Sailing

Our Australian Sailing Team Men's 470 crew of Mat Belcher and Will Ryan have finished the Hempel World Cup Series in Miami in third place. The reigning World Champions placed fourth in the double points medal race, and this was enough to secure them a place on the dais.

Skipper Mat Belcher commented afterwards, "It was a stable breeze, and the race was good, in a Northerly of 6-8 knots coming off the land, which made it a little tricky. All in all there was little separation amongst the fleet for the race, but we got away well from the pin end of the line and did find some space there."

"The US boat was OCS and got pulled off the track on the first work, but that kept us out left, and so we had overstepped the lay line a little. The Spanish were first around the weather mark, then the Japanese, then us. It was certainly all on from there."

"The second beat was a bit of a mess. We played ping-pong with some of the other crews and fell back as a result, losing three or four places in the process. However, it was awesome to come back on the last run, and pick up a few spots to secure the podium place."

"It certainly was a tight regatta, with just two points separating the Spanish in first place, then Japan in second, and us in third. Definitely a good indication of where everyone is at. We'll come home now to work on some things, and then we are off to the World Championships in Palma de Mallorca from the beginning to the middle of March."

"Will and I would have been out of touch with fleet if we had not come here to Miami. All our competitors, like both of the Japanese crews, the Spaniards, and British have been training together, and also racing at regattas since we saw them in Japan last year. It is really awesome to get this level of competition in, and also feel first hand just how close everyone is."

"We really enjoyed the racing. Miami is a difficult place to race at, and we are delighted to have got some more light weather training in. We are always pushing forward, and our competitors see this as intriguing. So for them to now feel the pressure of winning, to know that they have to perform, and that everyone really is this close is good. Spain won the event here, and it is there that the European season starts really soon. Equally, Japan has the Olympics coming up in home waters, so they are keen to do well."

Interestingly, if our crew had finished in third place in the medal race, not fourth, they would have won the event. The upshot of it all is that they now know they are well and truly in the mix.

"This quadrennial has always been about the bigger picture and the time to ourselves is really valuable, just as it is when we are with our fellow competitors. We are happy with where we are at, and our programme overall."

"Palma is a great place. There is always a lot on in an Olympic year. It is a bit like the weather in Melbourne - everything is on offer. Having the Worlds as the first event of European season may not be best thing, Baptism by fire type of stuff, as it were. Will and I are very much looking forward to it, and watching the Spanish, Swedes, British and Japanese step right up into it and the open playing field that will provide", said Belcher in closing.

Australian Sailing Team results at the Sailing World Cup, Miami:

Men's 470 (30 boats)

3rd: Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (15), 8, 6, 1, 1, 3, 14, 8 - 41 points

Women's 470 (16 boats)

12th: Nia Jerwood and Monique de Vries 11, 12, 3, 10, (15), 8, 15 - 59 points

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