Gold medallist Mat Belcher grabbed a marker pen rather than a bottle of champagne in the euphoric aftermath of a win that confirmed his status as Australia's most successful sailor in Olympic history.
Belcher and Ryan secured Australia's second sailing gold medal of the Tokyo Games in style on Wednesday, winning the 470 men's medal race rather than treating it as the ceremonial victory lap it was.
The pair held an unassailable lead at the start of the finale, as was the case when fellow sailor Matt Wearn delivered one of Australia's four gold medals on a record-breaking Sunday.
Belcher and Ryan started off the pace, allowing rivals to jostle for points that could make or break their hopes of a medal, but competitive instincts quickly kicked in.
There were emotive scenes after they reached the finish line first in Enoshima, having taken out the final gold medal in an event that will not be part of Paris 2024 as per the International Olympic Committee's push for gender equality.
The pair hugged before Belcher scrawled the words 'Miss You' on his hand and showed it to the TV camera, sending a message to wife Friederike and their children.
"I just want to say thank you to my wife," Belcher told the Seven Network.
"I know it has been really hard, being away in quarantine and spending a lot of time overseas.
"I just want to say that I love you so much and I'm coming home."
Before returning to land, Belcher accidentally ended up in the ocean amid celebrations with Spanish bronze medallists Nicolas Rodriguez Garcia-Paz and Jordi Xammar.
Ryan was also joyfully tackled into the water.
Belcher collected his third Olympic medal soon after, which represented an unprecedented achievement by an Australian sailor.
The 38-year-old won gold in the men's 470 with Malcolm Page at London 2012 and teamed up with Ryan to finish second at Rio 2016.
Australia were remarkably consistent across the 10 regular heats that preceded the medal race, winning three and banking three second places.
Belcher has dominated the class, routinely winning World Cups and world championships, but admitted it felt unusual to start a medal race without any pressure.
"We just couldn't help ourselves. Really conservative at the start and we had a bit of a sniff that we were in a good position ... we thought 'let's just go for it'. It was such an amazing feeling," he said.
"So happy to have the opportunity and perform like we knew we could, with everything else that has been happening in the last few years.
"So relieved we were able to get this medal.
"So proud, Australia has had such great success in sailing."
Ryan, speaking alongside Belcher, also thanked his family for their support.
"A lot of people played big roles for our campaign to get here," he said.
While there will not be a men's 470 class at the next Olympics, there will be a mixed 470.
Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntrye won gold in the women's 470 on Wednesday, when their medal race marked the last sailing event of the Tokyo Games.
Australian Associated Press