The World number one led from start to finish in Poland, with victory the highlight of an already impressive season.
After scoring two bullets on the previous day, home favourite Maciej GRABOWSKI (POL) was GOODISON's closest rival going into the final day of races, 16 points behind the defending European Champion. However both of the top two struggled in the day's opening race. GOODISON started out conservatively, determined to protect the lead he had established over the rest of the field, but it was a strategy not without its risks.
'I changed my style of sailing to become much more defensive,' the 28 year old explained. 'But I became too safe, started slowly, and got punished for that.'
GOODISON's penultimate race saw him cross in 21st place, but GRABOWSKI had an equally disappointing result, finishing in 32nd, to allow the Brit to keep his nose in front heading into the tenth and final race. With a second discard at the end of race ten, GOODISON was still looking good. However, the pressure was on GRABOWSKI to lay down a serious challenge and defend his silver medal spot after third place overall Gustavo LIMA (POR) had recorded a fourth in the day's opening race.
|Maciej GRABOWSKI celebrates
winning the silver medal
© Tomasz IGNATOWICZ
GRABOWSKI Holds On For Silver
Another England-Portugal sporting battle ensued in race ten - GOODISON and the third placed LIMA became embroiled in a tacking duel which allowed GRABOWSKI to disappear away from the Skandia Team GBR sailor up the fleet. GOODISON needed to finish within twelve places of the home star to reclaim his European title, and saw good speed to work his way back through the fleet, maintain sufficient distance between himself and GRABOWSKI to cross in 16th to the local hero's sixth.
It was enough for GRABOWSKI to clinch victory and his second consecutive European title, with the delighted Brit enthusing, 'They gave me the biggest trophy I've ever had in my life! It was waist height!'
Top Ten Results
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