Matt Bugg from Hobart this week launched a new International 2.4mR class yacht. Bugg is planning to defend his Australian Open Championship in Canberra at the weekend and hopefully represent his country at the London Paralympic Games sailing regatta.
Matt Bugg launches new 2.4mR class yacht
The young Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania member has courageously fought back from a snowboarding accident in Europe to become one of the top ten sailors in the world in the 2.4mR class, a small single-handed yacht that will be one of three classes at the 2012 Paralympic sailing.
Last year he qualified Australia as a nation and, following impressive results at major Olympic and Paralympic regattas in the United States, is awaiting to be personally named in the team for the London event. He currents heads the ISAF World Cup standings in the class.
Sailing on Lake Burley Griffin will be a demanding event as Bugg not only will be sailing in an ‘open’ championship against able-bodies sailors, but lake Canberra sailors have long dominated the class.
Bugg, in fact, was the first non-Canberra sailor to win the Australian 2.4mR class champion, claiming victory at Metung, Victoria, last summer.
His new boat, the hull built in Finland, the mast in England, is said to be among the finest in the world. Matt and his father Ron, Commodore of Hobart’s Derwent Sailing Squadron, fitted out the boat with Matt sailing it for the first time in a fresh sea-breeze on the River Derwent.
'It is floating perfectly on its lines,' Commodore Bugg commented proudly as his son slipped into the cockpit and sailed the boat around the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania ‘pond’ before heading out on to the river.
'Matt has been sailing exceptionally on the international level, including winning a heat of the world championship, and we are confident he will be named in the team for the London Paralympic Games.
'The new boat, AUS 1, has not name as yet; Matt is looking for a naming rights sponsor,' his father added.
Betsey looms in the background as the fleet tacks down the Derwent