Champions take gold on home waters

Thursday December 12, 2013

World’s best sailors contest for their Olympic campaigns in Melbourne over December 1 – 8

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – The second leg of the Grand Slam of Olympic class sailing, the 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup successfully came to a close last week, with almost 600 competitors from 25 countries battling it out on Port Phillip from December 1 – 8 at Sandringham Yacht Club.

Australia’s 470 mens duo Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan at the 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup.
Photo courtesy of Sport the library/Jeff Crow

Cementing their status as the best sailors in the world, Australian crews collected five out of 10 gold medals in the Olympic classes, as well as five silver and six bronze at the regatta, a major boost for their 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic campaigns.

Bruce Griffiths, Chairman of Sail Melbourne said, “The quality of competition at this year’s 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup – Melbourne was some of the best we have ever seen, evident in the closely-contested medal races across the weekend.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in the event including our partners the Victorian Government and our wonderful staff and volunteers, as well as the many supporters and spectators who came down to Sandringham to enjoy the sailing action.”

Australian Olympic gold medallist and 2013 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, Mathew Belcher and crewmate Will Ryan completed a perfect year of sailing with the pair winning gold in the 470 Men’s class and extending Mat’s winning record to 18 continuous regattas, including the 2012 Olympic Games.

Further winning highlights from the 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup – Melbourne include:

  • Current world number one sailor in the Men’s Laser class, Australian Tom Burton, successfully defended his 2012 title after a dominant week of sailing
  • The 49er Men’s class was another win for Australia, with 2012 Olympic gold medallists Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen taking home the gold
  • Olympic silver medallist Olivia Price and crewmate Eliza Solly won gold in the 49FX class
  • Individual Olympic medallists Darren Bundock and Nina Curtis celebrated their first regatta together with gold in the Nacra 17 multihull class
  • Sailors of all ages, abilities and genders competed alongside their Olympic heroes in the Invited Classes, including 25 kiteboarders in action-packed course races

Victorian Minister for Sport and Recreation, the Hon. Hugh Delahunty MP said, “We are proud to support the ISAF Sailing World Cup – Melbourne and the wonderful sport of sailing in Victoria. On behalf of the Victorian Government, congratulations to all Olympic and Invited Class competitors who participated in this fantastic regatta.”

Other highlights from the 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup include:

  • The America’s Cup spirit was brought to the Official Dinner, where guests were entertained by a panel discussion facilitated by Australian Olympic Committee member Andrew Plympton who interviewed our America’s Cup heroes Tom Slingsby (Oracle Team USA), Glenn Ashby (Emirates Team New Zealand), Nathan Outteridge (Artemis Racing) and Iain Jensen (Artemis Racing)
  • Hundreds of schoolchildren received a unique introduction to the sport during Yachting Victoria’s Discover Sailing Week, held at five yacht clubs around the bay during the regatta and run in conjunction with Play it Safe by the Water
  • While Olympic athletes battled it out in the medal races, families enjoyed a fun-filled introduction to the exciting world of sailing at Bayside City Council’s Summer of Sailing Festival and Family Weekend with a huge range of free on and off-water activities, while spectators viewed the Olympic class sailing from the yacht club balcony.

Olympic gold medallist and Event Director Mark Turnbull said, “It was fantastic to welcome athletes from such a wide range of countries to the regatta this year as part of their Olympic campaigns and to see Victorians fully embrace the event and the sport of sailing. I’d like to especially thank Sandringham Yacht Club and our eight partner clubs who delivered the regatta so successfully.

“We’re thrilled with the success of this year’s event and look forward to bringing the Sailing World Cup to Melbourne again in 2014.”

The 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup features five regattas globally. Following regattas in Qingdao, China and Melbourne, Australia, many sailors will now head to Miami, USA then Mallorca, Spain before completing the World Cup circuit in Hyeres, France.

News Source: Pesel & Carr/Sailing Melbourne