By David Gold

Daniel Fitzgibbon_and_Liesl_Tesch_18-04-12April 18 - Liesl Tesch will be going to her sixth Paralympic Games in London this summer, but it will be the first time she competes on the Australian sailing team.

Tesch has previously captained the Australian wheelchair basketball squad, and claimed two silver and one bronze medal during her time with them.

Tesch (pictured right) joins SKUD 18 crewmate Daniel Fitzgibbon (left), who won silver in Beijing four years' ago.

The pair has enjoyed success together since Tesch switched to sailing, claiming gold at the ISAF World Cup last year and a World Cup event in Florida, also winning bronze at the IFDS World Championships.

Tesch and Fitzgibbon also won the Australian Sailor of the Year with a Disability award in 2010.

"I want that gold medal, I want to complete the set, I've got two silvers and a bronze and now it's time for the gold," said 42-year-old Tesch.

"It's such a big challenge for me to be going to a Games with a different sport.

"But with a different sport comes a different type of excitement."

Tasmanian 2.4mR sailor Matthew Bugg and the three person Sonar crew of Colin Harrison, Stephen Churm and Jonathan Harris will also be going to London.

"Gold may be tough, but I feel I am certainly in the running for a medal," said Bugg, one of the top five sailors in the world in his discipline.

Grame Martin_Colin_Harrison_and_Russel_Boaden_18-04-12
Harrison's (pictured centre) experience in the Sonar crew, having won a bronze medal at Beijing 2008 and competed at Athens 2004, will be crucial as both Churm and Harris make their Paralympic debuts.

Since sailing became a Paralympic sport in 2000, Australia has won three medals, a gold, silver and bronze.

"The Australian Paralympic sailing team is world class and will be hard to beat on the water in Weymouth which is very exciting," said Jason Hellwig, the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) chief executive and 2012 team Chef de Mission.

"There is a good mix of experience on this team and I would like to congratulate each of the athletes on making the 2012 Australian Paralympic Team.

"While some athletes such as Liesl Tesch have plenty of experience at the Paralympics, for others including Matthew Bugg, Stephen Churm and Jonathan Harris are facing a new challenge and are about to experience an opportunity of a lifetime.

"I look forward to sharing this experience with them."

The Paralympic Games sailing competition will take place at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Centre from September 1 to September 6.

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November 2011: Fitzgibbon and Tesch named Australian Sailor of the Year