Mat Belcher & Will Ryan - Photo Credit: Matias Capizzano
Mat Belcher & Will Ryan - Photo Credit: Matias Capizzano

Challenging start for defending World Champions Mat Belcher and Will Ryan at 2016 470 World Championships

Defending World Champions Mat Belcher (QLD) and Will Ryan (QLD) had a challenging start to the 2016 Men’s and Women’s 470 World Championships, which kicked-off in San Isidro, Buenos Aires, Argentina over night (Monday, 22 February local time).

The three-time World Champions finished race one in fourth, but after a U flag at the start of the race the result did not count. A top-twenty finish in race two sees them sit at the back of the 42-boats fleet in 33rd after day one and with five more days to go.

“It was a tough day for us. We were sent out for a 12 pm start but there wasn’t any wind. We eventually got a start in at 2.20 pm in a light but building breeze. The conditions were nice with over a knot of current, which made for some interesting racing. We were racing well but got caught up in a few back markers at the start of race one and with one knot of current we literally got dragged over on the U flag start – a little bit silly in the first race of the Worlds but a good lesson. We finished 4th in the race but doesn’t count.”

“The Second race again was really difficult to get off the line. We have 44 boats in the fleet and there isn’t much room on the course. I’m not sure what position we got but around the early 20’s. We will focus more tomorrow to get off the line and try and find some clean lanes,” Mat Belcher said about the events of the day.

“This was not the start we were looking for but we have the experience to get ourselves back on track. We have quite the hole to get out of now but we’re looking forward to the challenge,” he added.

A total of three Australian Sailing men's 470 crews are competing in Buenos Aires with Australian Sailing Squad’s Patrick and Alexander Conway (NSW) and Victorians Tom Klemens and Tim Hannah finishing the first day in the Men’s 470 fleet in 17th and 36th respectively.

In the women’s fleet Australian Sailing Team’s Carrie Smith (WA) and Jaime Ryan (QLD) started the event with a 28th and finished day one with an eighth to be ranked 17th. New combination of Sasha Ryan (QLD) and Ella Clark (WA) had a UFD and 19th and sit in 31st in the 39-boats fleet.

2016 RS:X World Championships
In other World title events, Australian Sailing Squad’s Joanna Sterling (QLD) finished day one at the 2016 RS:X Men’s and Women’s World Championships in 32nd after posting a fifth and 29th.

Australian Sailing Squad’s Joanna Sterling (QLD) is the only Australian participant at this event. She qualified Australia a spot in the women’s RS:X Windsurfer class for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the RS:X World Windsurfing Championships in Al Mussanah, Oman in October last year and will be vying for selection over the next couple of months.

The RS:X World Championship takes place in Eilat, Israel with racing scheduled from 22 – 27 February 2016.

For more event information see here:

Australian Sailing at the 470 World Championships
The 470 World Championships in Buenos Aires are the season highlight in the lead up to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Current World #1 and defending World Champions Mat Belcher and Will Ryan won the 2015 470 World Championships in Haifa, Israel in October last year, which was an historic, record-breaking sixth successive title for Olympic gold medallist Mat Belcher and a record 18th World Championship title for Australian Sailing Team’s ‘medal maker’ head coach Victor Kovalenko.

They have been a winning combination ever since getting together post the London 2012 Games and have continuously finished on the podium at every sailing regatta they have competed in.

Mat Belcher and Will Ryan wrapped up a successful 2015 with a win at the Copa Brasil de Vela mid-December after winning the 2015 Rio Test Event there in August and also kicked-off the Olympic year with win at the South American Champs, which was regarded the warm-up event for the World Championship.

After winning both the 2014 and 2015 Rio Test Events as well as the 2014 and 2015 Copa Brasil de Vela the pair remains undefeated on Rio Olympic waters.

While Mat Belcher and Will Ryan have already been selected to represent Australia in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the men’s 470 class, the women’s crew is yet to be selected. Australian Sailing Team’s Carrie Smith (WA) and Jaime Ryan (QLD) are vying for the spot and their selection over the next few months.

The pair got back in the boat just before the 2015 World Championships after extended medical issues sidelined 2013 ISAF Youth World Champion Carrie Smith for most of last year. They finished the 2015 World Champs in overall ninth, securing country qualification for Australia in the Women’s 470 at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

The top ten position at the World Championship also qualified the young duo, who are coached by Australian Sailing’s Olympic gold medallist Nathan Wilmot (NSW), for the Australian Sailing Team.

The new combination of Sasha Ryan (QLD) and Ella Clark (WA) complete the Australian contingent in the 40-boat women’s fleet.

Racing at the 2016 470 World Championships runs from Monday, 22 February through to Saturday, 27 February with the world’s best Olympic 470 class sailors racing out of Club Nautico in San Isidro over six days. The format for the 470 World Championship is 11 fleet races, followed by a top-ten double-points medal race on Saturday, 27 February for the top ten teams advancing from the fleet race series.

Qualifying and Final series will be followed by Saturday’s top-ten Medal Races and prize giving.

See preview media release here:

Championship Website:

Participating Nations
Teams from 6 Continents / 27 Nations: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Great Britain, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, USA

2016 470 World Championships Australian Sailing Team & Australian Sailing Squad entries:
Men’s Two Person Dingy – 470M
Mathew Belcher (QLD/QAS) & Will Ryan (QLD/QAS) – AST: UFD, 21 – 33rd
Alexander Conway (NSW) & Patrick Conway (NSW) – ASS: 18, 18 – 17th
Tom Klemens (VIC/VIS) & Tim Hannah (VIC/VIS) – ASS: 31, 39 – 36th

Australian Sailing Team athlete profiles:
Mat Belcher:
Will Ryan:

Women's Two Person Dinghy – 470W
Carrie Smith (WA/WAIS) & Jaime Ryan (QLD/QAS) – ASS:28, 8 – 17th
Sasha Ryan (QLD/QAS) & Ella Clark (WA) – ASS: UFD, 19th – 31st

See all 470 results here:

2016 RS:X World Championships:
Joanna Sterling (QLD/QAS) – ASS: 5, 29 – 32nd

See all RS:X results here:

Follow the Australian Sailing Team via
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Twitter – @aussailingteam
Youtube –

470 Worlds Social Media
International 470 Class Association on Facebook will bring you regular updates at
The @470sailing Twitter account will be following the action throughout the Championship. Get involved by using #470worlds and #470sailing
Follow the 2016 470 World Championship at


Up coming events on the Road To Rio
Key Australian Sailing regatta dates on the Road to Rio

2016 470 Men’s and Women’s World Championships
, San Isidro, Argentina
Racing dates: 22-27 February

2016 RS:X Men’s and Women’s World Championships, Eilat, Israel
Racing dates: 22-27 February

2016 Finn European Championships
, Barcelona, Spain
Racing dates: 7-12 March

2016 Princess Sofia Regatta, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Racing dates: 28 March – 2 April

2016 470 European Championship,
Palma de Mallorca, Spain,
Racing dates: 7 – 12 April

2016 49er and 49erFX European Championship, Barcelona, Spain
Racing dates: 11 – 16 April

2016 Laser Radial World Championships, Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
Racing dates: 14-20 April

Sailing World Cup Hyeres, France
Racing dates: 26 April to 1 May

2016 Laser World Championships
, Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
Racing dates: 12-18 May

EUROSAF Garda, Italy,
9-12 May

EUROSAF Delta Lloyd Regatta & Para World Sailing Championships, The Netherlands,
24-28 May 2016

Sailing World Cup Weymouth
, United Kingdom
Racing dates: 8-12 June

2016 Rio Olympic Games,
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Racing dates: 8-19 August

2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Racing dates: 7–18 September

Posted in Expired News