#Rio2016 | WA Sailing Duo Selected for Rio Curtain Call

Sailing | Published: Fri 15 July 2016

Western Australian sailing athletes Colin Harrison and Russell Boaden have been selected in the Australian Paralympic Team for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.


Harrison and Boaden, along with New South Welshman Jonathon Harris will compete for Australia in the three-person Sonar class, as sailing makes its curtain call on the Paralympic sports roster in Brazil.


Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) Chief Executive Lynne Anderson said that despite the disappointment of sailing’s exclusion beyond Rio, the 2016 Australian Paralympic Sailing Team will do their sport and their nation proud.


"The Australian Paralympic Sailing Team is world class across all three boat classes, and I have no doubt they will pushing hard to build on the success they have achieved in recent years,” said Anderson.


"While we’re still devastated that there’s a chance it will be the last time these sailors will compete for Australia at a Paralympic Games, we know this team will use this as an opportunity to sail a great regatta and confirm their reputation as world leaders.”


Harrison will lead the Sonar Team as skipper, bringing with him a wealth of experience, having competed at the Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Paralympics, which included a bronze medal success in China.


Boaden is heading to a second Paralympics having returned to sport, after taking a break post Beijing – where he was a member of the same bronze medal winning crew as Harrison.


Outside of sailing, Harrison works as Medical Imaging Technologist and took up the sport following a holiday camp in North Wales as a teenager.


Several years later, Harrison discovered he had cancer in his shoulder, which led to his right arm being amputated. He initially gave up sailing, before rekindling his passion for the sport, which eventually led to a first representative opportunity for Australia in 2002.


A motorcycle accident as a 22 year-old left Boaden with damage to his brachial plexus – a network of nerves running from the spine. Now 46, Boaden works as a chef when he’s not sailing, and maintains a quirky superstition of wearing a knee brace at competitions, despite not needing its structural support.


The sailing selections bring WA’s officially selected Paralympic numbers to six, with the selection of the Australian men’s wheelchair basketball team set to increase numbers further on Tuesday of next week.


Athlete Profiles:

Colin Harrison

Russell Boaden