Mat Belcher and Will Ryan at 2016 470 World Championship in
San Isidro, Argentina - Photo Credit: ©Matias Capizzano
Mat Belcher and Will Ryan at 2016 470 World Championship in San Isidro, Argentina - Photo Credit: ©Matias Capizzano

Defending World Champs & World #1 Mat Belcher and Will Ryan move into fourth with three days to go at 2016 470 World Championships

A lot of patience from Race Committee and teams was required on day three of the 2016 Men’s and Women’s 470 World Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina with light conditions once again postponing racing until the afternoon at Club Nautico San Isidro. The 470 Men got underway first just before 1600 hours local time, followed by the 470 Women.

Defending World Champions and World #1 pair of Mat Belcher (QLD) and Will Ryan (QLD) continued their climb up the leader board on Wednesday, 24 February to just sit outside the medal ranks in fourth with three race days to go.

After posting a sixth and third in the two races of the day, Mat Belcher and Will Ryan moved from eleventh into fourth.

“We were again postponed onshore until the land breeze built and steadied. We were pretty happy with how we sailed today, there were some big gains and losses, but we played the game well. The wind was ranging from five to twelve knots and it's nice to be getting our rhythm back and start to work our way back up the leaderboard. Without a drop the pressure is on but after today it's nice that most of the top guys are in a similar position. I like this style of racing. We have an early start tomorrow at so it will be another long day,” Mat Belcher said about the day.  

Five races down in the 470 Men, puts the fleet at the halfway stage of the Championship opening series of 10 races.

The original schedule of three races was ruined by the earlier postponement ashore, followed by a change of weather and increase in current at the end of the day, with two races completed for the 470 Men and one for the 470 Women.

In the Women’s fleet, only four races have been completed thus far with Australian Sailing Team’s Carrie Smith (WA) and Jaime Ryan (QLD) sitting in 18th and Sasha Ryan (QLD) and Ella Clark (WA) in 27th.

Australian Sailing Squads Patrick and Alexander Conway (NSW) posted a 32nd and eighth to move up into 17th. Victorians Tom Klemens and Tim Hannah had a 23rd and 36th and are ranked 36th overall in the Men’s 470 fleet.

Three races are scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday, 24 February local time starting at 10 a.m. (12 a.m. AEDT).

2016 RS:X World Championships
In other World title events it was a rest day at 2016 RS:X Men’s and Women’s World Championships in Eilat Israel.

After light conditions over the first two days of the event only four races were completed out of the six races planned. For Australian Sailing Squad’s Joanna Sterling (QLD) this meant a 32nd place overall and missing out of Gold fleet after posting a 5, 29, 15, 13 series. With no opportunity to climb back up, Sterling will continue racing in Silver fleet.

“The conditions in Eilat are predominantly a very shifty and light offshore land breeze, which has made it difficult to get out and racing. For the first two days of the event we have been competing in about four to eight knots with big, unpredictable shifts across the course and it has been very easy to get caught out! My focus has been to stay calm, be patient and position myself well tactically. In most cases this has gone well for me and I've posted decent results in three of the four qualifying races. Unfortunately I scored a big result in the second race of the event and, with only four races making up the qualifying series, will have to carry this result and miss out on gold fleet,” Jo Sterling described the two race days.

This outcome is really disappointing after seeing so much improvement in my sailing. My speed in light and marginal conditions, which has previously been a liability, is now one of my strengths and the hard work I've put in over summer has paid off by increasing my fitness and power. Looking ahead to the rest of the event, I am still determined to gain the best result possible and learn from my racing. Despite setbacks I can see that this event is a valuable experience and I'm looking forward to some more tricky races.”

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:

2016 470 World Championships Australian Sailing Team & Australian Sailing Squad
As of Wednesday, 24 February 2016 local time

Men’s Two Person Dingy – 470M
-      Mathew Belcher (QLD/QAS) & Will Ryan (QLD/QAS) – AST: UFD, 21, 1, 6, 3 – 4th
-      Alexander Conway (NSW) & Patrick Conway (NSW) – ASS: 18, 18, 21, 32, 8 – 17th
-      Tom Klemens (VIC/VIS) & Tim Hannah (VIC/VIS) – ASS: 31, 39, 28, 23, 36 – 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, 19, 23 – 18th
-      Sasha Ryan (QLD/QAS) & Ella Clark (WA) – ASS: UFD, 19, 20, 24 – 27th

See all 470 results here:

2016 RS:X World Championships:
-      Joanna Sterling (QLD/QAS) – ASS: 5, 29, 15, 13 – 32nd

See all RS:X results 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 and secured Australia a spot 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:


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

Follow the Australian Sailing Team via
Website –
Facebook –
Instagram –
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 Laser Radial European Championship,
Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain
Racing dates: 28 February – 4 March

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

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