Coal Point sailor Will Ryan and Mat Belcher win fourth World Cup

CHAMPIONS AGAIN: Mat Belcher and Will Ryan after winning silver at the Rio Olympics Games in 2016. Picture: AP Photo/Bernat Armangue
CHAMPIONS AGAIN: Mat Belcher and Will Ryan after winning silver at the Rio Olympics Games in 2016. Picture: AP Photo/Bernat Armangue

Coal Point sailor Will Ryan and helmsman Mat Belcher have continued their world sailing domination by clinching the 470 class World Cup series title at the final event in Marseille, France.

The multiple world champions and Rio Olympic silver medallists took a lead into Sunday's medal race and drew on their experience in shifting conditions to finish second and ensure overall victory and their fourth World Cup title.

"Today we just had to keep tabs on the guys in second and third," Belcher said. 

"We had seven points on second and a few more to the guys in third."

They won races five and six and secured two thirds in the 11 events before the medal race to set-up their overall victory.

Spain’s Jordi Xammar and Nicolás Rodriguez held on to silver ahead of Japan’s Keiju Okada and Jumpei Hokazono.

Belcher and Ryan were second in the previous leg of the World Cup series at Hyeres in France and they won the opening stop in Japan.

The Australian pair, who came together after Belcher won the London Olympics 470 gold with Malcolm Page in 2012, will now prepare to defend their world championship at Aarhus, Denmark, in August.

Ryan, 29, and Belcher have won four of the past five world titles together. Belcher claimed the three previous to that with Page.

The world championship is the main qualification event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Ryan, who started competitive sailing in Sabot and Flying Ant classes while growing up on Lake Macquarie, won silver at the Rio Games on debut.

The next World Cup series starts in Enoshima, Japan, in September and takes in Miami, USA, and Genoa, Italy, before the final at the Paris 2024 Olympic venue in Marseille.