Defending World Champions Mat Belcher (QLD) and Will Ryan (QLD) have wrapped up the qualifying series at the 470 World Championships in Haifa, Israel in the lead.
A second and tenth place on day two of the World Championship was enough for the pair to carry the yellow jersey into the final series of gold and silver fleet racing, after they had won the first three races of the regatta on day one. The have a ten point lead over Croatia in second and eleven points to Great Britain following in third.
It was a challenging day with a lighter breeze on the race course in Haifa Bay and with the wind coming down the race track in bands and patches. Racing got underway in around eight to ten knots, decreasing to six as racing wrapped up.
With the qualification series now complete, the thirty boat gold and twenty-nine boat silver fleets are decided.
“Today was a tough day with some variable conditions,” Mat Belcher said. “We found ourselves in some difficult positions but managed to make good gains in both races. The winds were between four – eight knots in a dying breeze.
“We managed to find a good hole in the last race and stopped which saw us round in the early twenties at the top mark but managed to get a tenth. Considering the conditions, we were happy with the day. To come away with the results we can’t complain. Will and I are looking forward to finally racing everyone tomorrow – the finals is really when the regatta starts. It will be all on tomorrow.”
Australian Sailing Squad’s Patrick and Alexander Conway (NSW) and Angus Galloway (QLD) and Joshua Dawson (NSW) both missed out on the top-30 gold fleet after finishing the second day ranked 43rd and 45th respectively.
In the Women’s 470 Australian Sailing Squad’s the battle is tight between the two Australian crews after Sasha Ryan (QLD) and Amelia Catt (TAS) moved up into 18th and Carrie Smith (WA) and Jaime Ryan (QLD) dropping into 19th.
While Australia has already secured Olympic qualification in the men’s 470 class through Mat Belcher’s and Will Ryan’s World Champion performance at the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championship, the women’s 470 class is yet to qualify.
In the 470 Women, 13 nations are gunning for three Olympic Qualification places: Australia, Canada, Chile, Spain, Finland, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland and Turkey.
Two races are scheduled in both the women and men’s fleets for Wednesday, 14 October 2015. The women will be first at 13:00 local time (21:00 AEDT) and the men following after.
The 2015 470 World Championships commenced Monday, 12 October with the world’s best Olympic 470 class sailors racing at the coastal city of Haifa for six days. Medal Races and prize giving are scheduled for Saturday, 17 October.
2015 470 World Championships Australian Sailing Team and Australian Sailing Squad current standings:
Men’s Two Person Dingy – 470M
– Mathew Belcher (QLD/QAS) and Will Ryan (QLD/QAS) – AST: 1, 1, 1, 2, (10) – first
– Alexander Conway (NSW) and Patrick Conway (NSW) – ASS: 18, 13, 18, (27), 26 – 43rd
– Angus Galloway (QLD/QAS) and Joshua Dawson (NSW) – ASS: 22, 23, 9, (27), 22 – 45th
Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470W
– Sasha Ryan (QLD/QAS) and Amelia Catt (TAS/TIS) –ASS: (33), 24, 13, 8– 18th
– Carrie Smith (WA/WAIS) and Jaime Ryan (QLD/QAS) – ASS: 17, 11, 19, (38) – 19th
by Cora Zillich