Australia’s Mat Belcher (QLD) and Will Ryan (QLD) led the gold rush as the 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final reached its conclusion in Abu Dhabi this last sunday.
The defending champions underlined their dominance by winning the Medal Race to score a comprehensive second successive Men’s 470 World Cup triumph. Tom Burton (NSW) added another gold medal in the Laser and teammate Matt Wearn (WA) completed the Aussie medal haul by adding a bronze.
On this occasion, Belcher and Ryan got home by just a second from the young Spanish pairing of Jordi Xammar and Joan Herp to finish 11 points ahead of Sweden’s Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergström who finished second on the last day of the regatta, sponsored by ADS Securities and Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority
The result underlines the Aussies’ position as firm favourites to strike gold at next year’s Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro and adds to Belcher’s haul of six world titles, three won in tandem with Ryan.
After racing Belcher commented, “It’s been a long week with difficult conditions to sail in, but it’s been great to race in the morning. We have had some tough competition and there hasn’t been much rest since the worlds. We knew everyone was in top form and highly motivated so we are happy to get the win.”
It also added to the reputation of their Ukrainian-born coach, Victor Kovalenko, known as “The Medal Maker,” who has guided the winners of nine Olympic medals – six golds – and 18 world championships. Americans Stuart McNay and David Hughes, 6th on the day, took the 470 bronze.