London Olympics 2012: Slingsby slogs - Goodison lifts

Laser sailor, Paul Goodison in the Men’s One Person Dinghy (Laser) event in The London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.
The five times Laser World Champion Australia’s Tom Slingsby slipped back into second place, behind Pavlos Kontides from Cyprus after six races of the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition in Weymouth, England.

In the first race this morning, sailed in a 12-14 knot southerly, Slingsby was 10th at the top mark and surged down the run into second place behind Tonci Stipanovic. He held that place until the finish, with Kontides fourth behind him.
The second race was sailed in a breeze building from 12-17 knots, and it was another ordinary start from the Australian. He was 18th at the top mark, 22nd mid-race before climbing back to ninth place at the finish. Kontides finished second behind Andrew Murdoch (NZL).

Ashore, Tom Slingsby said ‘A long day on the water again and it was hard work. I am getting sick of trying to do these comebacks, I just want to get good starts and to lead to every mark would be the goal.

‘I am sailing well but Kontides has just found another gear at the moment. We still have another couple of days. He is a risk taker and he took some risks today and they paid off again. I saw him out to the left in the last race and I was thinking he looks like he is buried there and he led to the top mark. He just keeps getting it right.

‘It was frustrating today. I got rolled today by Denmark and Tunisia, all these guys I usually have a speed edge over. I don't know whether it’s my setup, but sometimes I don't quite have the speed I want and these guys take advantage of it and I keep getting put back in the fleet. I have got to fix some things and make sure I get off the line to the top mark in good shape.

‘Today in the first race when I was back in the pack, I just thought of yesterday and I thought ‘let’s start the process again and start coming back’ and I didn't do it quite as well today as I did yesterday. If I sail well I can pull back (up).’

Tom Slingsby (AUS) competing in the Men’s One Person Dinghy (Laser) event in The London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.

Behind Kontides and Slingsby are Stipanovic, Rasmus Mygren (SWE), Juan Ignacio Maegli Aguero (GUA) and then, in sixth place, is the Beijing Laser Gold Medallist Paul Goodison (GBR).

Goodison is fighting a back injury as he explained today.

‘I am feeling a lot better than I was obviously this time yesterday. The physio did an amazing job last night of putting me back together. It was kind of an hour lying on my bed and then go see the physio then an hour lying on my bed and see the physio.

‘The doctor gave me some pretty amazing tablets last night which made me sleep. I woke up almost a little bit hung over this morning. That seemed to take away most of the pain. Today on the water, although I didn't feel 100% physically right, my mind was more focussed on the decision making more than it was on the pain and although I didn't feel like I was that fast upwind I still could make the decisions to give me a bit of a chance to attack downwind and I guess that's what I needed to do hopefully. Tomorrow is a rest day so I can piece myself back together and get closer to 100% so that in the second half of the regatta I can fire on all cylinders and see what comes out of this.
‘It‘s really tricky conditions out there and I guess you have seen watching how quick we gained in that first race, right out at the front. There was a left shift at the top that I slipped up on. In the second one I thought I was going to get out on the right quite nicely with the wind but it didn't go my way. It was pretty character building stuff. I am pretty happy with both races.

‘When I am just sitting it is fine. It is as soon as I start moving around and bouncing around that I am loading up the back, there’s obviously a nerve in there that every time I bounce it fires and it is quite intense pain. Once that goes it is not so bad. It is fine in the lighter stuff but as soon as it gets choppy and windy when you have got to throw yourself around a lot more, that's when the problems occur.

‘My priority right now is to get better as quickly as I can tomorrow and come out of the other side of the regatta 100%. There are a lot of talented sailors out there and I think I have done a good job hanging in there as best as I could, so I have to try and attack in the second half of the regatta. If I have a chance at fighting for podium that is fantastic. I am going to keep fighting and do the best I can.

‘I think if it were any other regatta I would be flat out on the sofa and watching it on TV. You only get one chance at this every four years and if it means I am in a lot of pain then so be it. You only get the one shot and I want to give it my all. I have got to do that to be happy with myself.’

Stay tuned!