A disqualification from race 10 for the 2.4m Norlin OD class has cost Tasmanian Matt Bugg the chance of winning a sailing gold medal at the Rio Paralympics. Early today (AEST) he faced a battle to win the bronze medal.
Bugg had finished first in fleet in the final race of the penultimate day of sailing in the 2.4 class, with provisional results issued by regatta organisers showing he had extended his overall lead to four points over his nearest rivals, the gold medal right in his sights.
“Before everyone gets too excited, I got protested out of race ten, which makes third, with plenty of work tomorrow for a bronze medal,” a philosophical Bugg wrote on Facebook after the protest hearing.
The International jury found Bugg at fault after in a right-of-way, port-and-starboard protest by Spanish sailor Arturo Montes-Vorcy. No further detailts of the protest have been issued.
Going in the final race Bugg is just two points ahead of American Dee Smith, a determined and skilled competitor, and he must finish two places ahead to win the bronze medal.
Great Britain's Helena Lucas, the gold medallist at the London Paralympics has regained leads the 2.4 Norlin OD fleet, “but it could have all been so different,” commented World Sailing.
“When the boats docked at the Marina da Gloria, Bugg was holding a guaranteed Paralympic medal and a four-point advantage at the top. But in a change of fortunes, Bugg finds himself with a lot of work to do just to make sure he doesn't leave Rio 2016 empty handed.”
That decision against Bugg also moved France's Damien Seguin from a guaranteed Paralympic medal, to a guaranteed Paralympic silver medal, and a strong chance winning gold, as he is only point behind Lucas..
Seguin's second second place of the day was later upgraded to first as the Bugg protest result trickled through the fleet, giving the Frenchman a 2-1 score while Lucas had a 3-5 score.