ISAF ROLEX WORLD SAILOR NOMINEES MAT BELCHER/WILL RYAN (AUS)08 Oct 2014
Mat Belcher and Will Ryan have dominated the Men's 470 class, finishing on the podium at every major regatta they have competed at.They started the nomination period by extending their 2012/13 unbeaten run with a resounding victory at ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne.
A third place at ISAF Sailing world Cup Mallorca followed but they were back at the top at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres. Throughout the 12 race series Belcher and Ryan were dominant, amassing seven bullets to seal gold. As the 470 fleet geared up for the European Championships, Olympic Test Event and the Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships there was no question that the Australians were the team to beat.
At the Open Europeans in Athens, Greece the Aussies displayed devastating consistency, finishing out of the top six just once as they defended their title successfully. Next up, the Aquece Rio - International Sailing Regatta 2014, Olympic Test Event and once again Belcher and Ryan put in a performance that their rivals could only dream of. They ventured into the Medal Race, in front of the iconic Sugarloaf Mountain with a commanding lead and wrapped up gold to send out a message to their main rivals ahead of the ISAF Worlds.
A steady qualification series at the Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds ensured the Aussies were in the mix and up for the fight but when gold fleet racing commenced they could not be matched. With the stakes high and their rivals aiming to hit their peak the Australians were in a different league and picked up four straight race victories in the strongest gold fleet of the year.
They took to the Medal Race with a comfortable lead and with the pair used to delivering under high pressure it was business as usual as they came through in fourth to take gold.
This was their second world title together but for Belcher it took his tally to a record-breaking five in a row.
View Mat Belcher and Will Ryan's ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Profile.
Joining Belcher and Ryan as Male Nominees for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2014 are Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL), Bill Hardesty (USA), Giles Scott (GBR) and James Spithill (AUS).
The winners are selected by the ISAF Member National Authorities (MNAs), the national governing bodies for sailing around the world. The MNAs are now invited to vote for the male and female nominee they believe most deserves the Award.
The winners will be announced at the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards presentation and dinner, taking place on Tuesday 4 November 2014. The venue for the event will be at the Pueblo Español, Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
Each winner will be presented with the prestigious ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award Trophy and a distinctive Rolex timepiece.
View all of the nominees here.
Who will join the list of winners?
2013 Mat Belcher (AUS), Jo Aleh & Polly Powrie (NZL)
2012 Ben Ainslie (GBR), Lijia Xu (CHN)
2011 Iker Martinez & Xabier Fernandez (ESP), Anna Tunnicliffe (USA)
2010 Tom Slingsby (AUS), Blanca Manchon (ESP)
2009 Torben Grael (BRA), Anna Tunnicliffe (USA)
2008 Ben Ainslie (GBR), Alessandra Sensini (ITA)
2007 Ed Baird (USA), Claire Leroy (FRA)
2006 Mike Sanderson (NZL), Paige Railey (USA)
2005 Fernando Echavarri & Anton Paz (ESP), Ellen MacArthur (GBR)
2004 Robert Scheidt (BRA), Sofia Bekatorou & Emilia Tsoulfa (GRE)
2003 Russell Coutts (SUI), Siren Sundby (NOR)
2002 Ben Ainslie (GBR), Sofia Bekatorou & Emilia Tsoulfa (GRE)
2001 Robert Scheidt (BRA), Ellen MacArthur (GBR)
2000 Mark Reynolds & Magnus Liljedahl (USA), Shirley Robertson (GBR)
1999 Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL), Margriet Matthijse (NED)
1998 Ben Ainslie (GBR), Carolijn Brouwer (NED)
1997 Pete Goss (GBR), Ruslana Taran & Elena Pakholchik (UKR)
1996 Jochen Schümann (GER), Lai Shan Lee (HKG)
1995 Russell Coutts (NZL), Isabelle Autissier (FRA)
1994 Peter Blake (NZL) & Robin Knox-Johnston (GBR), Theresa Zabell (ESP)