Goodison's defence of world title hits buffers

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The Independent Online

Hopes of defending his world title hit the buffers when Paul Goodison, who is also the current Olympic champion, had another frustrating day at the Laser World Championship in Hayling Island.

With two races to go he is in 19th overall, a position which in most Olympiuc classes would have kept him out of the medal decider. Two disqualifications and a penalty for a collision with a French competitor have scuppered his chances.

That leaves Nick Thompson as the only man with a chance of beating the Australian Tom Slingsby, who has been in a league of his own, revelling in the breezy conditions having won the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta in Weymouth last month. Thompson is in the silver medal position, but a huge 32 points behind Slingsby.

In contrast, a even more windy San Francisco Bay was proving a happy hunting ground for the heavyweight singlehanders in the Gold Cuo world championship for the Finn class. Four of the top who have won places in Saturday’s double points scoring medal race decider are in the British squad with Ed Wright holding a 13-point lead over Spain’s Rafael Trujillo and a further five over Britain’s Giles Scott in third.

With Mark Andrews eighth and Andrew Mills 10th other nations can only gasp in envy, especially as the man they all want to beat, the reigning Olympic gold medallist, Ben Ainslie is absent, skippering his Team Origin at the St. Moritz regatta in the World Match Race Tour.

Double former world champion Ian Williams had won a bye to the semi-finals after his GAC Pindar team had topped the round robin stages. Ainsile’s victory over Sweden’s Bjorn Hansen meant that Britain had two places in the semis as Ainslie tried to emulate his win in the last world tour regatta in Marstrand.

But the notoriously fickle win of the mountain ski resort prevented the completion of the remaining quarter finals.

In Kerteminde, Denmark, 2008 bronze medallist Bryony Shaw finished fourth at the Windsurfer World Championship.

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