Australia qualified a boat in the Sonar class following the bronze medal performance of Colin Harrison, Jonathan Harris and Russel Boaden at last year’s World Championships. Australia has two boats competing internationally in this class. The first is crewed by Colin Harrison, Russell Boaden, and Jonathan Harris. They are currently ranked fourth in the world and represented Australia at the 2012 Summer Paralympics. Their world championship performance should also matter a lot. As such, they are easy favorites to be selected again. The second boat is crewed by Jamie Dunross, Robert Cridge, and Francis Gaudin. They are currently ranked fifteenth in the world.
Just by virtue of being Australian, the country should be prepared for the 2016 Summer Paralympics as potential medal contenders if nothing goes wrong. As they are hosting the World Championships later this year, they should have another advantage. It is not a sure thing though. Australia has won a pair of medals in this class, gold at the 2000 Summer Paralympics and bronze at the 2008 Summer Paralympics. They also had a boat competing at the 2012 Summer Parlaympics.
What events these sailors have been competing at in the past three months can be difficult to track. Garda and Trentino Olympic Week, which took place earlier this month and had a sonar event, has no ISAF results published on their website. Trofeo Sar Princess Sofia did not have Sonar on their program. Oceanbridge Sail Auckland Regatta in New Zealand in March had this class on their program, but only New Zealand competitors took part. At the ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres in April, Western Australians Harrison and Boaden and New South Wales Harris went into the final day of competition ranked third but worked hard and managed to pull out a second place finish. That was an improvement over last year where they finished third.
Compared to the other Paralympic classes, Australia has not been as consistently active in this boat in the past few years 2013 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland Regatta, 2014 IFDS Combined World Championships, 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères, 2014 Delta Lloyd Regatta, 2013 IFDS Combined World Championships.
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