It was another day of near perfect conditions with 10-14 knots of breeze on the Paralympic races courses in Rio today, and the Aussies made the most of it! Our crews are leading in all three classes after eight races.
In the 2.4mR class, there was some extremely tight racing for Matt Bugg today who consolidated his consistent performance thus far. He featured in the top group of boats throughout the day, finishing second in today’s first race, then he came back to win the second race of the day. However, it was the third and final race of the day that was the closest. The race between Bugg and the British competitor, Helena Lucas was tight all the way around the racetrack, but it was the finish that had everyone holding their breath. The official results showed the AUS and GBR boats finishing at exactly the same time, but the ‘photo finish’ awarded the win to Australia by the smallest of margins.
“It was really close,” said Bugg at the end of racing. “That's twice today Helena and I finished with a metre between us and now there's one point between us as well.
"It's amazing the difference between coming first or second in the last race of the day and what sort of mood that can put you in for the rest of the night. Yesterday I was annoyed because Helena got me right on the line and today I'm stoked because I got her right on the line."
This result leaves Bugg first overall overall, only one point ahead of GBR.
In the SKUD18, it was two wins from two races for Aussies Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch. The Aussie team has been the crew to beat all week and they showed why yet again today. The Aussies are currently leading the fleet overall with a 15 point buffer over their nearest rivals – Canada and Great Britain who are on equal points.
Australia’s Sonar team of Colin Harrison, Russell Boaden and Jonathan Harris came out flying in their first race today. The Aussies led from start to finish in a dominant display. However, they had a tougher start in the second race and had to fight their way back from seventh place around the top mark, eventually finishing third. They are currently first overall, 11 points ahead of the team from USA.
“It’s all going to plan but we need to stay consistent,” said team leader Mark Robinson. ‘Everyone knows this is a tricky venue, so they know not to get ahead of themselves, and to just keep following their daily routines and keep at it.”
Racing continues tomorrow from 1pm noon Rio time (2am Sydney time) and two races are scheduled for all classes.