Australians in the 470 World Championships
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The sun is shining in Europe, which means the 470 World Championship is underway. This year, the renowned sailing event is held in Thessaloniki Greece, which is around 300 km North out of Athens. The race kicked off on 10 Jul, and wraps on the 15th
This year, there is a strong Australian presence. Here’s what you need to know, and who to watch out for.
Mat Belcher a hot favourite
Aussies have a strong presence this year with 6 crews in total hitting the water. The spotlight is on Mat Belcher, who is considered one of the best skippers in the Olympic Men’s 2-handed dinghy (class 470).
Belcher and his crew, which includes Will Ryan, are hoping to reclaim their Word Championship title. He won Gold at the London Olympics in 2012 in the 470 alongside Malcolm Page, and in Rio, took Silver with Ryan.
Belcher and Ryan began their 2020 Olympic Campaign by taking home gold at the Sailing World Cup in Melbourne last year. The pair also placed first amongst a strong field of World Cup contenders in France (Hyeres) and Germany (Kiel) in 2017.
An unexpected forestay failure caused them to place a respectable 3rd in Monaco, despite leading most of the way.
Belcher reportedly told mysailing.com.au
“In this first of 4 years leading up to Tokyo 2020, almost all of the top 10 teams have continued,” he said.
“Going into this event, the Greek team Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis, the 2017 World Cup winners and Rio Bronze medallists, sailing in their home waters are definitely amongst the favourites.”
Belcher was also quoted as saying that a strong presence of young teams pushed older players like him further.
Women’s 470 on the rise
The Women’s 470 in Australia has gone from strength to strength, with Carrie Smith and Jaime Ryan set to team up again. The pair came 15th at the Rio Olympics, and nearly placed on the last day of the Kiel (they ended up coming in 4th).
The pair is expected to place in their races to come. Smith was quoted as saying to www.sailing.com.au:
“The World Championship is always a tough event but we are prepared, we are a strong team and we support each other all the way, so we will go out there and sail as hard as we can.”
An additional 3 Australians will be a part of the 470 in Greece, including Monique DeVries and Nia Jerwood, who took 5th spot in Kiel, as well as Katherine Shannon and Dana Tavener and Shellee White and Amelia Catt.
For up to the minute results on the 470 World Championships, head here.
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Ask us for a free non-obligation quote to get started. And good luck to every Aussie racing right now in the 470 World Championships!
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