Belcher & Ryan Win Fifth Consecutive World Crown for 470 Dinghy Class

Sailing duo Mat Belcher and Will Ryan have fought back from sixth place to win the world 470 class sailing crown. This is the fifth consecutive world crown for Belcher and second for teammate Ryan.

Mat Belcher and Will Ryan. Photo: www.dailytelegraph.com.au

Mat Belcher and Will Ryan. Photo: www.dailytelegraph.com.au

Belcher becomes the first man ever to win five successive crowns – and he did it on his 32nd birthday.

But they didn’t have it all their own way.

The two had to fight their way back from sixth place earlier in the Spanish regatta, held at Santander. Their fourth place in the last event – a double points Medal race – was enough to see them win overall.

But celebrations were put on hold as they were forced to stave off a protest. With everything in the balance Belcher was able to convince race stewards to dismiss the protest.

“I guess what I’m really proud of is that this week we really stepped it up another level as a team,” Belcher told reporters. “This means a lot. You have to be able to qualify your country (for the 2016 Rio Olympics) and for us to tick that off here gives us a lot of confidence.”

And confidence is what they’ll need as the 470 dinghy class is becoming more hotly contested each year.

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