Sailing: Goodison Pulls out with Race Fatigue
Alexander, Stuart, The Independent (London, England)
AN EXHAUSTED Paul Goodison pulled out of the Olympic dress rehearsal regatta here yesterday. Lying 16th after six races in the Laser class, and having been disqualified from two of the last three, the Athens experience has been a miserable one for the man who follows in the footsteps of Ben Ainslie, who won the silver medal in the class in 1996, and gold in 2000.
Goodison had been fifth in the Laser European Championship in Split, which finished on 3 August, and then came straight to Athens to practise. He is ranked No 1 in the world and the World Championship in Cadiz starts in the middle of next month. "His focus is split and he's tired," said Stephen Park, the Royal Yachting Association's Olympic manager. "He needs to have some rest."
Goodison flies home to Rotherham today, knowing that it is not only his own ticket for the 2004 Games he aims to book in Cadiz, but British qualification with his British rivals snapping at his heels.
Not that Goodison is the only one with a punishing schedule. The Star class regatta is not one which will live fondly in the memory of the world champions, Iain Percy and Steve Mitchell. …