Olympic Gold, European and World Champion

Laser guru Paul Goodison talks us through his amazing year and a complex World Championship win
Paul Goodison - what a legend. Rotherham’s finest obviously came home with the Laser Gold medal from Beijing and has followed this up in 2009 with wins at every regatta he has sailed in, including a successful defence of his European title and for the first time a win of the Laser World Championship, this year held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We think it is the first time any mortal - including Laser Gods of old, Robert Scheidt and Ben Ainslie - has held all three titles simultaneously. It could be argued that it is about time Goodison won the World Championship having been racing at the top end of the Laser class for a decade now. “Yes, its been the one I’ve always seemed to manage to mess up for some reason,” he admits. “I’ve had a couple of opportunities where I’d have won had it not been for a yellow flag or a black flag or something else stupid, but it always seemed to elude me.” However far from being an Ainslie-style string of bullets, the tale of Goodison’s World Championship win this year is something of an epic, including gear failure, pea-souper fog and a brush with Hurricane Bill, followed, ironically with a day of no wind (the calm after the storm). Goodison recounts how this extraordinary regatta went: “It was seven days of sailing. The first day was pretty standard sailing in about 12-15 knots. We’d done a beat-reach-run then going around the first leeward mark in third, I jumped out from under my toe strap and my toe strap snapped. So I was in a bit of a fret. I carried on just sitting there, but I’d lost about five or six places within seconds, so I stopped, tied my mainsheet around the back of