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Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan 470 dinghy World Champions

Southport Yacht Club’s Olympic medallists and Club life member Mathew Belcher along with crew member Will Ryan, have been crowned the 470 dinghy class World Champions in Greece last week.

It was Mathew’s seventh World Championship victory and Will’s fourth. The pair also won Olympic silver in Rio last year while Mathew claimed Olympic gold in London in 2012.

After five days of competition at the 470 World Championships in Thessaloniki, Greece, Belcher and Ryan beat Sweden’s Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergstrom in the final showdown to claim the world championship by a nine-point margin.

Mathew recognised his long-time coach, Victor Kovalenko – the man they call “The Medal Maker” – for his on-going contribution to their world championship success. He said it was another big step forward in their bid to finish on top of the podium in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Belcher, the 2013 ISAF World Sailor of the Year, cultivated his career at the Southport Yacht Club from the ripe old age of seven. In recent times, he took up the role of mentor for the club’s Sailing Academy’s High-Performance Program.

“Will and I have had a fantastic streak this year after winning the 2017 World Cup Championships in Hyeres, France and announcing our Tokyo 2020 campaign. I look forward to returning home and continuing our campaign training at the new Gold Coast 470 sub-site at the SYC Sailing Academy”, said Belcher.

“We are so ecstatic for Mathew on this phenomenal achievement,” SYC’s General Manager, Brett James, said today. “Mat is a fantastic mentor for our younger sailors. He brings a much-admired and unprecedented level of expertise to our sailing program.

Mat and Will plan to continue their Olympic training program after their return home. 

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