Australian Sailors Sweep the Medals at Sailing World Cup

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  • By Jennifer Crooks
  • 08 Dec 2012 18:52:00
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Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan in the 470 medal race at Sail Melbourne

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Australian sailors have finished the opening round of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, Sail Melbourne, on a high, standing on the podium in every Olympic class, winning seven of the eight gold medals.

Australian sailors have finished the opening round of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, Sail Melbourne, on a high, standing on the podium in every Olympic class, winning seven of the eight gold medals.

Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan became the first 470 crew to win every race at an ISAF Sailing World Cup round, taking the medal race to make it 10 wins from 10 starts.

The pair, in their first regatta together of the new campaign, dominated the medal race to lead at every mark, eventually taking the win by more than a minute.
 
"It's pretty cool to go through and win them all," said Belcher. "We're not really results focused, we said that at the beginning of the week, but as we began to get a few more bullets you have that feeling that it would be pretty cool to get the perfect score.
 
"This week has been great for us, having limited time in the boat, anything can happen so to get 10 wins from 10 races is pretty cool," he said.
 
Ryan said that with the gold medal already secured before the medal race they just tried to keep their nose clean at the start of the race.
 
"We started pretty conservatively, just trying to adjust to the conditions but we got our head into the game pretty quickly and extended from there which is a nice way to finish off the regatta," said Ryan. "We even got a smile out of the coach, another box that we can tick this week."
 
For Belcher the Sail Melbourne win was his ninth straight regatta win, stretching back to the Australian 470 Championship more than a year ago.
 
"I've had a good record this year, one more regatta to go to sweep the year so not too keen to mention it too much, touching wood," he said. "So far it's been nine regatta wins, including an Olympic Games, two World Championships and now five World Cups, a great year."
 
Tom Burton went into the Laser medal race with an 18 points lead, needing to stay out of trouble during the final hit out to claim the gold.
 
"I was eighth around the top mark for the first time, it wasn't a given and I was stressing a little bit there," said Burton. "It was pretty close at the top but everything came together well in the end. The first downwind spread everyone out a bit and after that it was just about getting around the course."
 
Matthew Wearn started the day in fourth position, with the West Australian winning the medal race to jump into second overall, his best ever finish at an ISAF Sailing World Cup round. Ryan Palk was third in the medal race, winning bronze.
 
Krystal Weir took the same margin as Burton into the Laser Radial medal race but the two-time Olympian had a more straight forward race, winning it and the gold medal.
 
"Today I had an 18 point buffer which was nice," said Weir. "I was pretty low risk at the start and on the first beat, catching up to first and getting the win. I've enjoyed my time off and it's good to be back in the boat."
 
Brendan Casey finished his regatta as he started it, with a win in the Finn class to take out the regatta.
 
Casey led the medal race from start to finish to win gold by 11 points with Oliver Tweddell finishing second and Jake Lilley third.
 
"We've had a very good week here, good to have Australian Sailing Team here and encourage the next group of Australian champions," said Casey. "We had a very strong northerly, not going to say it was a windy as big Wednesday but gusts above 20 knots at times. The water was totally flat and we were skimming across the top of it, the pressure moments were when you had to gybe for the bottom mark and the reach for the finish."
 
Sasha and Jaime Ryan made it a second gold medal for the Ryan family this week, mirroring their brother Will's performance with a win in the 470 women's class. The Ryan's won the final race to take the gold medal ahead of Lucy Shephard and Aurora Paterson, with Jacqueline Gurr and Georgie Toner third.
 
New Zealand pair Alex Maloney and Molly Meech won the new 49erFX class, ahead of Tessa Parkinson and Kate Lathouras, with Ella Giudice and Caitlin Elks third.
 
Steven Thomas and Rhys Mara won the 49er class, just one point ahead of Luke Parkinson and Jaspar Warren. Will Phillips and Nick Brownie won the bronze medal.
 
Luke Baillie won the RS:X men's title, finishing ahead of Patrick Vos and Sam Treharne.
 
For more information on the Australian Sailing Team visit
 
Video highlights can be found at www.youtube.com/YachtingAUS.
 
Full results are at www.sailmelbourne.com.au.
 
By Craig Heydon, Yachting Australia

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