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Australian Paralympic sailors to race for medals at World Championships

  • Racing in the 2-4mR class in Ireland  (Photo by Michael Sweeney)
Australian Paralympic sailors to race for medals at World Championships

Australia’s Paralympic class sailors are set to race for medals on the final day of the 2013 IFDS World Championships following another solid day on the water in Kinsale, Ireland.

Heading into the final day of racing Australia’s Sonar crew of Colin Harrison, Jonathan Harris and Russell Boaden are third overall, with Matt Bugg in the same position in the 2.4mR fleet.

After losing a day of racing due to a lack of wind on Wednesday the sailors were greeted by 10 to 15 knots of breeze in Kinsale yesterday, allowing three races to be completed in each class.

Harrison, Harris and Boaden were ninth in the opening Sonar race of the day, before finishing second in race two and 10th in race three.

The results leave the Australian crew third overall heading into the final day, just two points off the silver medal, with the leading French crew a further 11 points ahead.

“It was a tough day on the water with a ninth, a second and a 10th leaving us in third overall with one day of racing left,” said Harrison. “Some good breeze and close racing today has left second to fifth places up for grabs tomorrow.

“It looks like we’ll be having a tough battle with Germany, Holland and Great Britain as we make our final push for the podium,” he said. “The French have sailed an excellent regatta and are deserving leaders.”

Matt Bugg started the day in third position in the 2.4mR fleet, with three consistent results keeping him on the final step of the podium with a day of racing remaining.

Bugg was seventh, third and sixth from the day’s three races, leaving him three points off second and a further six off the leader.

“Today was a big day of racing with three long races in medium strength breeze,” said Bugg. “It was basically perfect conditions for sailing a 2.4, I loved it. I ended up with a seventh, a third and a sixth which means I’m still sitting third overall but it’s really tight between the first eight or so sailors.

“I’ve been really happy with my starts this week which is good because we’ve been doing a lot of work on my starting over the last six months,” he said. “I’m happy with my results today but still feel like I can sail better. I made plenty of basic mistakes today so I’m pumped for the last day of racing to try and make a few less and end up with a good overall result.”

Fellow Australians Neil Patterson and Mark Durnan are 29th and 41st respectively in the 2.4mR fleet.

Meanwhile at the Finn Gold Cup in Estonia the 86 crews spent a second straight day waiting for breeze with racing again cancelled.

After the opening four races Oliver Tweddell is the leading Australian in ninth position.

“It was another day of sitting around waiting for wind here in Estonia,” said Tweddell. “Today we ended up hitting the water and drifting around for a while before being sent back in.

“We’re all looking forward to hopefully doing three races tomorrow although the forecast isn’t looking great,” he said.

Brendan Casey is currently in 35th position, with Jake Lilley in 48th and Joe McMillan in 69th.

The 2013 Finn Gold Cup is scheduled to finish on Saturday with full results available here.

Results from the IFDS World Championships can be found here.

By Craig Heydon, Yachting Australia

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