Road to Rio sparkling for Matt Bugg

The wide grin on Tasmanian sailor’s Matt Bugg’s face told it all yesterday as he was interviewed on a video camera at the end of day two of the Para Sailing world championships on Melbourne’s Port Phillip.

Sailing his single-handed International 2.4mR class yacht called Moshi, Bugg finished second and third in the two races and is now third overall in the 48 boat fleet.

“‘Today was a perfect day for racing, lots of sunshine and a nice breeze…Port Phillip at it best,” ,” said Bugg as he came alongside the marina at the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria in the historic port suburb of Williamstown.

“The racing was tough, but I managed to get good starts.…I loved it.”

That the competition was tough was probably an understatement as the line-up in this world championship for the three sailing class at the 2016 Rio Paralympics is as good as you would get anywhere in the world and certainly includes every sailor that Bugg will face at Rio.

Bugg’s placings so far have been 9-8-3-2 for a total of 22 points, with world champion Heiko Kroeger (GER) heading the leader board on 10 points from placings of 2-2-2-4. In second place is Damien Sequin (FRA) on 13 points with a scoreboard of 6-1-5-1.

In race three Bugg crossed the finish line just 10 seconds astern of winner Bruce Miller and just six second astern of second placegetter, world champion Kroeger.

Bugg’s second place in race four saw him 33 seconds astern of the French winner Sequin.

His coach Richard Scarr said the good starts in both races had given Bugg the opportunity to get clear air and utilise his boat speed in the south-westerly breeze that freshened from 9 to 16 knots during the afternoon.

“We talked about race strategy after day one and today he executed those plans perfectly, added Scarr.

Australian sailors continue to lead the other two classes; with Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch have a scoreboard in the Skud 18 of 2-1-2-1 while in Sonar class Colin Harrison, Jonathan Harris and Russell Boaden have placed 1-1-2-2.

Peter Campbell
30 November 2015

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