Aussies defend World Cup sailing title

Will Ryan (left) and Mat Belcher are favourites for gold in Rio next year.
Will Ryan (left) and Mat Belcher are favourites for gold in Rio next year. AAP

Multiple world champions Mat Belcher and Will Ryan successfully defended their men's 470 class title at the 2015 Sailing World Cup final in Abu Dhabi.

The Queenslanders, expected to be the team to beat at next year's Olympics in Rio, took a seven-point lead into the final race and gave no one else a chance by leading the fleet home.

Belcher and Ryan have finished on the podium at every major regatta they have contested since teaming up after the London Olympics, where Belcher won gold with former crewmate Malcolm Page.

They will now direct their focus solely to preparing for Rio, starting with next month's Copa Brazil de Vela regatta in Rio.

Fellow Aussie Tom Burton also won gold in Abu Dhabi, taking out the laser class.

Burton held a three-point lead ahead of the final race, and a third-place finish was enough to claim gold ahead of five-time Olympic medallist Robert Scheidt from Brazil.

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