Sailing Olympics – Promising Prospect for Brits

British Laser sailor Paul Goodison finished today 18 points ahead of his second placed Swedish rival Rasmus Myrgren and 20 points ahead of his third placed competitor, Gustavo Lima from Portugal. Goodison’s two solid performances, a 4th and a 6th, were sufficient to ensure that the man who came 4th in Athens was assured of a medal this time around. Bronze is already Goodison’s, but the news could be much better in 24 hours.

In a worst case, bronze is guaranteed in the medal race which sees a fleet of just 10. Here, last would earn him silver if Lima won and a 9th would get him gold.

“It’s definitely not over until we’re finished and the results are on the board,” said Goodison after today’s races. “I thought I had a great day on the water, I nailed all the starts and held my nerve on the shifts. But the job’s not over until we’re finished and hopefully it will be a gold medal.”

Iain Percy and Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson were similarly cautiously optimistic after their best day’s racing, although for them the path to success is a little longer with three more races to go until their medal competition. An 8th, a 2nd and a first places the British Star team in second overall. Swedish sailors Fredrik Loof and Anders Ekstrom hold the overnight lead with a margin of just 3 points.

“We’ve still got a long way to go as this is going to go all the way down to the wire,” said Percy. “There are so many good people who simply won’t give up. The top six people have all won medals before and they’re going to charge to the end. We’ve got to keep constant and really, really steady.”

A glance at the points board confirms just this with 12 points between first and eighth.

Meanwhile in the RSX fleet, Nick Dempsey was enjoying some consistently good results and posted a 5th and a 3rd today to place him in second overall by three points. There is just one more race before the medal race on Wednesday. But beneath the surface there’s additional pressure for Dempsey, that of the rivalry between him and his double gold fiancĂ© Sarah Ayton.

“I’ve got loads more trophies than her,” he joked. “She just wins all the big events and wins all the medals!”

His team mate Bryony Shaw is also in with a shout of the medals and is currently lying 4th overall, just 9 points shy of the lead after she scored a third and a 1st today.

As the count down continues there is an air of nervousness around the venue. Even the Fleet street writers seem reluctant to press Britain’s hottest prospects further on whether they can really pull it off nfor fear of unsettling their form.

Now, after a wild and whacky weekend, medal ceremonies are becoming a more regular affair as the Olympics starts to wind up to its crescendo. Four classes have now finished.