Bugg’s costly disqualification at Rio

  • September 17, 2016

Matt Bugg has been disqualfied from race 10 of the 2.4m Norlin OD fleet at the Rio Paralympics after crossing the line in first place,  costing him any chance of winning the gold medal.   He has now dropped from first in standings to third and faces a battle to win the bronze medal.

Great Britain’s Helena Lucas leads the 2.4 Norlin OD fleet, but it could have all been so different.

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 after a jury decision went against him and in favour of the protestor, Arturo Montes-Vorcy (ESP).

That decision also moved France’s Damien Seguin from a guaranteed Paralympic medal, to a guaranteed Paralympic silver medal.

“Today was a terrible day of sailing,” Seguin said laughing, “I was really close with the other guys, especially with the American [Dee Smith] who was fighting for the podium today, but finally it was really good for me. Two second places. I am really happy tonight because I’m on the podium.”

Seguin’s second second place of the day was later upgraded to first as the Bugg protest result trickled through the fleet.

The Frenchman’s race for gold will be against the reigning champion Helena Lucas. Lucas sits on 25 points and just one point above Seguin on 26. It’ll be a shootout for gold on the final day.

AUS gold medalists in the Skud 18 class. Photo World Sailing

AUS gold medalists in the Skud 18 class. Photo World Sailing

With the protest changing Bugg’s final race bullet to a disqualification, the Aussie fell from top to third where he sits with 35 points. Sailing consistently all week, Bugg finished 14th in Race 9, which he counts, and now finds himself in a fight for bronze with Dee Smith (USA).

Earlier, Australian crews won gold in both the Skud 18 and the Sonar classes.

World Sailing/Peter Campbell

17 September 2016