Final race

Competitors are preparing for the medal race tomorrow, Sunday, at Kiel Week

Saturday June 24th 2006, Author: Lindsey Bell, Location: United Kingdom
Laser sailor Paul Goodison and the Tornado twosome of Leigh McMillan and Will Howden are Britain's best medal hopes from the seven Skandia Team GBR boats heading into finals day at Kiel Week on Sunday (25 June).

European Champion and defending Kiel Week titleholder Goodison goes into the final medal race in pole position, after a superb day's racing on the Baltic Sea. The 28-year-old posted two seconds and a first from the Laser fleet's three races on Saturday to boost him up to first place overall, with his downwind speed the key to his success.

It was a colourful second race for the Yorkshireman, with him managing to hit the pin end at the start. He did well to pick his way back through the fleet, rounding in the mid-teens before making up an impressive eight places on the final reach and run, from tenth to second.

After a shaky first race for Nick Thompson, in which he posted a 31st, the 2012 hopeful also made the cut for the Laser medal race, thanks to a 6,3 from the final two races.

In the Tornado class, Leigh McMillan and Will Howden closed in on Australian series leaders Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby, with a fourth in the first race of the day, followed by their first race win of the series.

The Brits are still sandwiched between Bundock and Ashby - now eleven points ahead - and Spaniards Echavarri and Paz, who are ten points behind them heading into Sunday's medal race.

"We were hoping to have a bigger gap going into tomorrow, but now Will and Leigh are a real threat!" said Olympic silver medallist Bundock as the Brits kept up the pressure on Saturday.

But as Howden explained, he and McMillan are just taking Kiel Week as a first step in their preparations for the Tornado Europeans next month.

"We were a bit lastminute.com coming here, as we'd been full time since Holland with the VX40, so really we're just wanting to learn and improve our sailing and hopefully that's going to plan.

"We know we've still got a few bits to catch up on with the Aussies, but at the end of the day, they're our training partners so we'll just go and learn from them over the next few weeks."

Although outside of the medal chances, Portsmouth's Matt Howard secured his place in the Finn class medal race, with the help of a ninth and a second from the day's two races, and after pulling off a daring "port flyer" starting manoeuvre after spotting the start line bias.

After a promising week on the water, transitional squad sailor Ed Greig missed making the medal race cut by just one point, as did Dave Evans and Rick Peacock in the 49er fleet after sitting amongst some big hitters in the top ten for most of the week. In the Laser Radial class, a 31 for Charlotte Dobson in her first race of the day pushed her outside of the medal race places.

In the 2.4mR class, Helena Lucas remains outside of the medal spots in fifth, while Megan Pascoe had a solid day to consolidate her sixth place overall. Michael Cogswell sits in ninth, and all three sailors will contest the first ever medal race to be held for the Paralympic single-handed class on Sunday.

Results:

470 Men
470 Women
49er
Tornado
Star 
Laser
Laser Radial
Finn
RS:X Men
RS:X Women

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