Lasers and Stars head for their European Championships
Current Olympic, World and five time straight Laser European Champion, Paul Goodison, will be gunning for a sixth consecutive title as the 2010 Laser European Championships get underway in Tallin, Estonia this weekendm running over 6-11 June.
With some 155 Laser Standard sailors from 36 nations set to compete across the six days of racing, Goodison will have some tough competition to overcome if he is to successfully defend his coveted title with the likes of in-form Austrian, Andreas Geritzer and defending European Silver medallist Javier Hernandez of Spain, in the side lines eager to knock him off course.
The Skandia Team GBR star has started his season in fine form however picking up a win at the Hyeres World Cup Series event in April beating Hernandez, who is also World number two, by 18 points.
And adding to his Olympic and World class calibre, the 32-year-old will be feeling fully fired up after having suffered a frustrating disappointment at last month’s Dutch leg of the series where a broken tiller sidelined him for a whole day of racing. A fifth was the best he could rescue from the event.
Also flying the flag for Skandia Team GBR will be Lymington’s Nick Thompson, who’s currently lying second in the ISAF Sailing World Cup series in the men’s single-handed class.
Development squad sailors Max Holloway, Robert Godwin, Robert Homes and Phil Reynolds will be looking to make their mark in the senior fleet too, as will RYA Volvo National Youth Squad sailor Alex Mills Barton.
In the women’s Radial class performance squad sailors Charlotte Dobson and Andrea Brewster will be vying for European silverware along with Development squad sailor Ali Young.
Meanwhile Skandia Team GBR duo John Gimson and Ed Grieg will be joining the Lasers in mounting a Europeans assault as the Star class European Championships kick off in Viareggio, Italy next week (7-13 June). The Southampton pair are keen to equal or build on their highly credible 11th placing at last year’s event.
“Our goal is top 15 but there are 150 boats so it’ll be quite a high scoring regatta,” Gimson explained.
“We’ve done our first days training today and it’s looking like quite a light airs venue and we’ve made quite a lot of changes to our kit since the last Europeans specifically for light winds so we’re hoping that will come together to give us a little bit extra,” he concluded.
With Skandia Team GBR teammates Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson still engaged in TeamOrigin activities travelling back from the Louis Vuitton Trophy in Sardinia, Gimson and Grieg will be the teams sole entrants at the event.