Wild finish

Australians clinched gold at the Para World Sailing Championships in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA.

24 September 2018


After five days of competition in variable breeze, Australian Matt Bugg snapped up gold after the first ever 2.4 Norlin OD Medal Race, Will Street and Jonathan Currell (GBR) won a close RS Venture Connect Final and Christopher Symonds (AUS) and Ana Paula Marques (BRA) grabbed gold in the Men’s and Women’s Hansa 303.

The top ten in the Men’s Hansa 303 sailed a semi-final to decide which four would advance to the Final. Wademar Wozniak (POL), Jens Kroker (GER), Piotr Cichocki (POL) and Christopher Symonds (AUS), the four standout competitors this week, finished in the top four and progressed to the final.

In a tense battle, there was no let up as each racer demonstrated winning attributes. Kroker took the lead early on but his three rivals remained close by. Wozniak pulled level on the downwind but on the second upwind, the pack reshuffled.

Symonds took the lead before Wozniak was forced to do a penalty turn after a cross with Kroker. This allowed Wozniak to sneak through in second.



The Australian won the deciding race convincingly in the end but at the finish, the remaining three were split by less than 20cm. Wozniak did enough to pick up silver and 2017 World Champion Cichocki completed the podium.

Two points separated Damien Seguin (FRA), Matt Bugg (AUS) and Dee Smith (USA) ahead of the first ever 2.4 Norlin OD Medal Race, meaning that whoever finished ahead of the three would claim the title.

The trio were tight at the start, keeping each other within reach, but Bugg managed to jump ahead and hold position to finish the Medal Race in third to seal gold.

“It was a really tough, short race and really close,” said Bugg.

“I managed to get ahead of them both midway through the race and I managed to hold on to my lead and take the championship.

“Five or six years ago I thought that winning a World Championship was a possibility and it’s taken this long for me to get the job done. It means the world to me and something I’ve worked for a very long time.”


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