Going into the final day of racing at the 34th Hyeres Olympic Sailing Regatta, Paul Goodison (Rotherham) had a ten-point lead over Robert Scheidt, the five times World Champion and Olympic Gold and Silver Medallist, it was expected that another two races would be sailed, so Goodison needed to stay out of trouble and keep on top of Scheidt. Everyone remembers the memorable moment when Ben Ainslie clinched the Olympic Gold Medal from Scheidts’ hands in an epic tale of excellent sailing skills and match racing ability, were we to see a repeat performance from Ainslie’s Olympic training partner Goodison?
After a short postponement all of the classes were sent out, but the wind was still not steady and in some areas of the bay, the wind had failed to appear. This meant that racing only got underway for the 49er Gold fleet and the 2.4mR paralympic class. All of the other Olympic Classes racing was abandoned and so the results stayed the same as yesterday, Goodison had beaten Ainlsie’s long term rival without having a final days show-down.
“The conditions this week have not been ideal, but I feel that I have dealt with them well, I sailed smart, started well and didn’t take any risks. I have won the last four international regatta’s in a row [Sydney, Melbourne, Athens and Princess Sofia], but Robert was training in Brazil, so it was a real test this week to see if all my hard work over the winter months had paid off, and I am really glad that it had.” Commented Goodison.
Goodison and the rest of the RYA team GBR Laser Squad now head back to England for some more training before competing at Spa Regatta at the end of May.
Dom Tidey (Essex) secured his best result in an international regatta in the men’s Mistral fleet, finishing in second place behind Sydney Olympian, Alexandre Guyader of France. Tidey sailed well all week in the tricky conditions that Hyeres had to offer, and after discarding his two worst results, a tenth and a nineteenth, was left with all but one result inside the top five.
“This is my best result ever at an international regatta and the first time with a podium finish, so I am really happy. These are not normally my best conditions and I have a few things that I still need to work on in training, then it will be off to Spa Regatta, where I hope to continue my good form,” said Tidey
The 49er Gold fleet sailed one race in very light, shifty conditions, although Paul Brotherton (Hampshire), sailing with new crew of Mark Asquith (Hampshire), did not have his best result of the regatta, he had done enough to secure his podium place, behind the two Spanish pairings of Iker Martinez/Xabier Fernandez in first place and Santi Vazquez Lopez/Javier De La Plaza in second.
“Third overall is a great result for us, we are obviously a relatively new pairing and have managed to use this week to see how we both operate and to familiarise ourselves with each other. The next thing for us is back home for some more training before going to Spa Regatta at the end of May and then the World Championships in June.” Commented Brotherton.
Olympic Gold Medallist in the Europe Class, Shirley Robertson (Isle of Wight), sailing with Inga Leask (Hampshire) and new crew of ex Europe sailor, Sarah Ayton (Dorset), finished third overall in the new Olympic Women’s Keelboat discipline, the Yngling, a result that she was pleased with, “We came to Hyeres with a new boat, new crew and not having done any practice, so we hadn’t set a performance goal, instead we learnt from each day as it came. Towards the end of the regatta I felt we were really working well as a team, we still have a lot of work to do but we are all happy with this result at our first international regatta together.”
For the 2.4mR Class, it is the first time that they have attended Hyeres Regatta, with eleven boats making up the fleet, racing was tight. After a good battle that saw the lead change on several occasions, Damien Seguin secured the Cha