Gunning for Finn gold


Reigning world champion Sebastien Godefroid from Belgium tells Andy Rice about his plans for Athens
If ever you think you've got problems getting funding or dealing with your national authority, spare a thought for Sebastien Godefroid. You might have thought that after winning a silver medal at the 1996 Olympics and then the Finn Gold Cup last year, that life would be a bed of roses for the talented Belgian. But he is only now emerging from a mire of bureaucracy and red tape that seems to engulf the Federation Royale Belge du Yachting. Godefroid has not been too impressed with the system, to put it mildly. "Belgium doesn't have too many sailors in the first place, but I have to work with one organisation at national level and another at international level." He explained that there is a French organisation and a Flemish organisation that feed into the national federation, but suffice it to say it seems an incredibly complex structure for such a small sailing nation. "Before you get anything happening, half of the money is gone already and a lot of the good ideas get stopped by people just playing the political game. It's hard to break through all the political shit and get something really positive going," he complains. Sometimes, he says, it seems there are more administrators than sailors in Belgium. He is not even sure what the organisation is officially called. "It has been changing names quite a bit recently." That said, he does acknowledge recent attempts made to improve matters. "There has been a lot of effort going on in the last couple of years. They realised that it wasn't going so smoothly, and they were far off from something like the British system. They've been more of a hassle than a help to me in the past, but now they're giving me a budget that I'm free more

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