From Matt Belcher and Will Ryan's email update:
A lot has been published about the Rio 2016 Olympic waters, most of it true. We were fortunate to do most of our racing on the outer courses where the waters are relatively clean and the current stable. The waves out there were massive (3m+) which made for some challenging and exciting sailing. Lasers, Finns and 470s were the only classes to race off-shore during the event, as the sea state couldn't make it possible for the other classes to safely race. Racing on the inner courses was an entirely different experience with large geographical shifts, mass amounts of current swirling around the bay and quite a bit of rubbish in the water.
The racing in itself was quite amazing. It is a complex place to race and will require the sailors to have a large diversity of skill sets to be the winner. Will and I were in good form throughout the test event and enjoyed our first experience on Olympic waters. We were only able to complete seven races after five days of competition – mostly due to the small sailing window from the sea breeze arriving (12.30-1pm) to getting dark (5.15pm). We were able to carry a 17 point lead into the medal race which was fortunate for us, after landing a plastic bag up the first beat of the medal race put us towards the back of the fleet. We ended up finishing 9th in the medal race which was still enough to secure the overall win.
We are now enjoying a few weeks rest before resuming our preparations towards the Santander 2014 ISAF World Championships. These worlds will mark the first time a country can qualify for Rio 2016. After the majority of the sailors traveled to Rio they are surely motivated to secure a country qualification.
Now to an entirely different matter that is very close to our hearts. If any of our supporters are in Brisbane on the 29th August, there is a very special gala dinner being held on behalf of Melanoma Patients Australia (MPA). By attending this gala dinner you would be helping to raise funds for this organisation. MPA is an nation wide peer support network founded by my brother and another colleague who were affected by melanomas. It is an amazing cause and we are proud to be national ambassadors for this organisation. Anyone who has experienced melanoma or has had someone close to them affected will understand the devastation it can cause and the importance of early detection. We would greatly appreciate your support of this important cause!
Until the next update, thank you as always to our Coach Victor, and to all our sponsors, suppliers and supporters!
Mat and Will