OTB sailors farewell their champion
- August 19, 2016
More than 120 members, including a large proportion of young sailors from the Club’s Off-the-Beach group, gave a rousing farewell to their champion, Matt Bugg, on the eve of the departure of Matt and coach Richard Scarr for the Rio Paralympics.
Matt will represent Australia in the Norlin 2.4mR one-design class, ranked number four in the world in this single-handed small keelboat. It is his second Paralympics, having finished sixth overall at the London Games.
OTB chair, RYCT Director Will Logan, hosted the function with young sailor Finlay Crisp making the farewell speech on behalf of Members, young and older, speaking of Matt’s courage in returning to sailing after a snow-boarding accident left him a paraplegic.
The Rio Paralympics runs from 9-19 September with Matt and Richard heading off at the end of the August.
There are three sailing classes in the Paralympics: the 2.4mR (single-handed), Sonar (three crew) and Skud 18 (double-handed, high performance). There will be a maximum number of 16 boats in the 2.4mR class,11 in the Skud and 14 boats in the Sonar.
Matt Bugg has had an outstanding past season of international sailing in the 2.4mR class, including winning the Australian championship, finishing runner-up in the Worlds last summer and winning major international regattas in Europe this winter.
Many of the 2.4mR sailors he outsailed in Europe are among the fleet for the Olympics, including defending gold medallist Helena Lucas.
Since returning to Hobart, Matt has been able continue fleet training with a group of fellow Hobart 2.4mR sailors plus a couple of mainland sailors who have flown down to Hobart especially to provide extra competition under the direction of Richard Scarr.
Australia is expected to do well in all three sailing classes at the Paralympics, in particular, the 2.4mR and the Skud.
The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania will carry daily reports of the sailing at the Rio Paralympics on its Facebook page and also on the Club web site.