Olympic Champion Mat Belcher writes sailing history by making it five titles in a row as Australia qualifies six classes for the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Olympic champion Mat Belcher and crewman Will Ryan have won the 2014 Sailing World Championship in the Men’s 470 dinghy in Spain, giving Belcher a record five titles in a row in the class.
It was the second title together for Belcher and fellow Queenslander Ryan and the second medal for It was the second medal for Australia at the regatta after Tom Burton was runner-up in the Laser class on Thursday.
Belcher was leading the rankings heading into the medal race on Saturday, his 32nd birthday.
“Now I can really celebrate. It’s just a shame that my son and my wife cant be here, but I’ll see them tomorrow,” said Belcher.
“We had a lot of pressure coming into the event, coming in as World No.1, and we are really happy to come away with a win.
“The conditions have been very difficult this week and I’m happy how we performed.”
In theory, Croatia’s Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic could have claim gold had they won the race and the Aussies finished 9th or worse in the ten-boat fleet.
Spain’s reigning 470 junior world champions Jordi Xammar and Joan Herp won, with Belcher and Ryan in fourth place.
They had already already qualified the Men’s 470 boat class for the Rio Olympics, giving Australia entry to a total of six Olympic classes so far.
“This means a lot. You have to be able to qualify your country and for us to tick that off here gives us a lot of confidence.”
The Worlds wrap up at Santander on Sunday with Australia represented in the 49er and Nacra17 medal races.