Beijing gold medallist Paul Goodison has hit the front pulling out a 16.5 point lead with just one day of racing remaining at the Laser World Championship on St Margaret's Bay, Canada.
After spending two days ashore, with one day with too much wind and one day with too little, the action was back on in Canada yesterday with the first three races held in the gold fleet. Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison
(GBR) has taken over first place after storming to a third place and two race wins. With just one day of racing remaining, the British skipper has put himself in a fantastic position to claim his first Laser World Championship gold medal.
Goodison is followed by country mate and ISAF Sailing World Cup
leader Nick Thompson
(GBR) in second and Michael Bullot
of New Zealand in third. Like Goodison, competition in the gold fleet, with the breeze ranging from nine to 16 knots, seemed to bring out the best in Bullot, with the Kiwi posted 1, 3, 4 scores.
Elsewhere amongst the top contenders, scoring was much more inconsistent. Croatia's Tonci Stipanovic
has dropped to fourth, with Argentinean Julio Alsogaray
in fifth. Top Canadian is David Wright
in sixth. For 2007 and 2008 World Champion Tom Slingsby
(AUS) any hope of a third consecutive World title vanished on Tuesday with finishes of 20, 31 and 28 dropping the young Australian back to 21st overall.
In the silver fleet, Thomas Barrows
of the US Virgin Island is in first, Max Andrews
of New Zealand in second, and Luke Ramsay
of Canada in third. Spain's Guitian Sarria Pablo
leads the bronze fleet.
While a great day of racing has sailors enthused, the arrival of Laser designer, Canadian Bruce Kirby, has also inspired the athletes in the Standards portion of the 2009 Nautel Laser Worlds. Before heading out on the water Tuesday morning, many athletes had their pictures taken with the legendary sailboat designer. In the evening with the competitors for the Masters portion of the Laser Worlds beginning to arrive, it was a mix of veteran and elite athlete milling around the St. Margaret Sailing Club.
"Forty years ago when I drew that first design," said Kirby, "I had no idea what it would turn into. Never in my wildest dream did I expect the success that I see here today."
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