Things have heated up at the 2015 470 World Championships in Haifa, Israel with another change at the top of the leader board, tight point scores and defending World Champions Mat Belcher (QLD) and Will Ryan (QLD) in third place.
After the fourth day of the World Championship (Thursday, 15 October 2015) and a total of nine races only two points separate Belcher and Ryan from the leading Swedish crew of Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergstrom who are tied on points with second placed Croatians Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic.
Mat Belcher and Will Ryan claimed their fourth win of the series in race nine and with a tenth place in the first race of the fourth regatta day secured third place. Score margins are tight and only two points separate the leading two crews from place three and four (RUS) ahead of the penultimate day of the regatta today, Friday, 16 October 2016 and ahead of Saturday’s double points Medal Race.
“Again the winds were between six to eight knots but quite variable. We executed our strategies today and were really pleased to be back in reach. Considering the conditions we were happy to come away with the results we did. There were so many opportunities to make big gains and losses today – you just needed to be patient, tolerant and lucky and hope it went your way. With the top four boats within two points it will make for an interesting last couple of days,” Mat Belcher said.
And crew Will Ryan added: “Considering the quality of the fleet, and again the tricky nature of the conditions we can’t complain. It is always easy post race to analyse where you lost metres or points, but realistically a lot of the luck relating to this equals out. And you just have to try and make the most of it when the luck comes your way!
“As always and with all events, the locals say the conditions here this time of year are 'never like this'; but it is what we have to race with, and we are happy we could do a bit better job today than yesterday. The overall points are really close, everyone is sailing really well – so we will just have to keep doing what we are doing and try to do our best each race as it comes.”
In the women’s 470 Carrie Smith (WA) and Jaime Ryan (QLD) jumped up six places into 14th overall on the leader board after posting an 18th and sixth place. Australian Sailing Squad’s second women’s crew of Sasha Ryan and Amelia Catt (TAS) are ranked 33rd.
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.
Currently Poland, Germany, Israel, Spain and Italy sit in front of the Australians with only two races left in the final series.
In the Silver fleet (31-59) of the men’s 470 Australian Sailing Squad’s Patrick and Alexander Conway (NSW) had their best day yet and finished the two races in second and eighth which moved them up into overall 38th. Angus Galloway (QLD) and Joshua Dawson (NSW) posted a third and 12th and are ranked 40th.
Two races are scheduled in both the women and men’s fleets for Friday, 16 October 2015. The men will be first at 13:00 local time (21:00 AEDT) with the women following after.
2015 470 World Championships Australian Sailing Team & Australian Sailing Squad current standings:
Men’s Two Person Dingy – 470M
– Mathew Belcher (QLD/QAS) & Will Ryan (QLD/QAS) – AST: 1, 1, 1, 2, 10, 22, 15, 10, 1 – 3rd
– Alexander Conway (NSW) & Patrick Conway (NSW) – ASS: 18, 13, 18, 27, 26, 15, 19, 2, 8 – 38th
– Angus Galloway (QLD/QAS) & Joshua Dawson (NSW) – ASS: 22, 23, 9, 27, 22, 4, 27, 3, 12 – 40th
Women's Two Person Dinghy – 470W
– Carrie Smith (WA/WAIS) & Jaime Ryan (QLD/QAS) – ASS: 17, 11, 19, 38, 8, BFD, 18, 6 – 14th
– Sasha Ryan (QLD/QAS) & Amelia Catt (TAS/TIS) –ASS: (33), 24, 13, 8, 36, BFD, 37, 22 – 33rd
– Cora Zillich/AST