Sailing Lots and Learning all the Time.

over 7 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

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Its been a super busy start to the year with a lot of air miles collected and at times a very confused body not knowing when to sleep and when to take on some caffeine to stay awake.

Its been great to be involved in a wide variety of sailing from my moth in Weymouth in 6 degrees to sweating it out in Singapore and Oman in the extreme 40s and Miami with the Melges 20 and 32.

Things have been progressing nicely in the moth getting on the water when the weather allows with a good bunch on Brits. The weather has been a little challenging with some cold and very windy spells but we have pushed on and been out flying around the harbour with big smiles, so much fun. I even made it up to Queen Mary for the first grand prix event of the year with an impressive 38 boats turning out. The racing was good and I was pretty pleased to finish 3rd in my first time racing in an event.

The extreme 40 has been a very challenging learning curve with BAR racing. Pretty under prepared due to the lack of practise that’s down to shipping schedules and the ability to get our hands on the boat, the team has had to learn quickly. It’s been fun but not all the time, learning to race multihulls in some pretty crazy and constrained racecourses can be quite stressful. Its feels very rewarding though when you learn so quickly and can implement the new skills the next day racing.

Team Samba are back up and running in the Melges 32, we have had a few crew changes since we last sailed together winning the worlds in 2012 and the game has moved on a bit. Its going to be a nice challenge getting back on the pace in preparation for the worlds in December but its going to be fun, Miami is a pretty good spot especially out on the ocean! I’m also sailing the 20 with Samba this year, with around 40 boats at the last 2 events the racing has been great and I’m sure will only get better as the fleet continues to grow.

I’m really enjoying the variety and the amount I’m learning at the moment, its really refreshing to be on a steep learning curve again. I have just arrived in Miami ready for some more 32 sailing before heading back home to take delivery of my new moth….. A very lucky boy!

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Wet and Sunny!!!

over 8 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

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Its been quite a mix of weather this month with a trip to Marstrand with the RC44’s and then on to Garda with the 20’s.
It was my first trip to Marstrand and it didn’t take long to realise what a special place this was. We managed to arrive a few days early for a couple of days on the water training and mid summers weekend. What a fun weekend, great sailing and a fun social program.
Racing started on the Tuesday with the match racing. Very light and tricky conditions which caused some problems, we walked away with 2 wins from 6 races which isn’t great but a step forward again. The four days of fleet racing proceeded with some great sailing conditions. We had a slow start to the regatta really struggling to hold lanes but kept fighting on. On day three we won our first race this year and again on the final day with gusts of over 30 knots the crew did an amazing job to get us round the course first leaving us 5th Overall. We are making progress and getting better all the time, it was nice to be in the hunt in the final few races.
After a late flight back to the UK on Saturday night I got back to Weymouth at 4am. Up at 8 I was pretty excited to get out moth sailing for the final day of the UK National’s. After getting out to the race course I had a few problems with my ride height adjuster. I struggled to foil in the first two races, a bit the boat more my weight and the light winds! In the final race a solid 10-12 knots arrived and it was much easier to foil. Finally getting off the start line on the foils in the 70 boat fleet, I rounded 3rd and finished 4th which was a bit better for morale. Its a tough decision, I either have to loose a bit of weight or get some bigger foils to compete in the light stuff!
After a relaxing day at home it was off again, this time to Torbole with Stig for the 20s. It was a new venue for me, sailing at Torbole for the first time. Another great spot although I didn’t enjoy being on the water at 7.30 for the morning breeze.
In the first race after a 8.30 start the wind shut down as we approached the leeward gate in 2nd, race abandoned and back to shore to wait for the afternoon breeze. It was a tricky regatta with big place changes in each race, we did a reasonable job of fighting back to leave us with 2nd overall. Another good result for Stig that gives us the lead of the series going in to the final event and European Championships next month.

Time now for a few weeks at home, its gorgeous weather but no wind……..

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Tough times and a win for STIG

over 8 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

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It’s been a difficult few weeks with the passing of one of my closest friends. We had spent so much time traveling around the world together sailing but mainly having a lot of fun while growing up and then maturing. Bart was like a big brother to me, always looking out and helping me out when it was needed. An amazing guy that I will miss so much.

After a special send off for the big man I escaped to Italy for a bit of a break before heading to Elba for Act 3 of the Melges 20 circuit. Portoferraio was a beautiful spot with the winds not so beautiful, light and shifty conditions from the sea and then gusty and strong conditions from the mountains.

After a fourth in race one and then being clear of the fleet in second, round the bottom mark and rounding the next windward mark in the teens it was clear it was going to be a tough regatta.

The final day of racing was great for team Stig with two wins and a fourth to take the overall victory. It was nice to finally win a Melges 20 event after coming close a few times.

I’ve enjoyed a bit of time at home, filling my days with a bit of moth sailing and too much housework! I’m off to Sweden this weekend for the next leg of the RC44 tour with Team Ironbound. We still have lots to work on but I feel the team is getting stronger so hopefully the results will show that this time!

Olympic sailing on hold

over 8 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

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This weekend (13-14 April), I’m going to be taking part in my first Moth event. I’m really looking forward to this, as I haven’t been on the water with more than a few boats before. I’m getting better in a straight line now although I still haven’t quite mastered going round the corners nor done a proper start yet so I’m preparing to be a little bit embarrassed, but its going to be fun!

It reminds me of learning to sail over again it’s a great challenge and everyday you go on the water you learn so much and get a bit better, its nice to be on such a steep learning curve for a change rather than just polishing the finer points.

Over Easter weekend I competed in the RORC Easter Challenge with Sir Keith Mills’ TP52 5°West. This was the first time I’d been Solent racing for a while. It was good fun with a great bunch of guys. Keith got better and better as the weekend progressed winning both races on the final day and taking the event.

In my mind Rio 2016 is still quite a way away. With that in mind I have chosen to take a bit of time away from the Olympic circuit to focus on other campaigns. I need to be fully motivated to really commit to whatever I’m doing and if I haven’t got the want to do it, whatever the short term incentive, then it’s not worth me wasting mine or anyone else’s time. There are so many people that help you during an Olympic campaign that if I’m not giving it 110% I’d feel guilty and I couldn’t do that to them.

That said, I really enjoyed being back in the Laser for the first time at Mussanah Race Week in Oman last month. I hadn’t been in a Laser since the Olympic medal race and wasn’t sure what to expect. But it was actually awesome being in the situation where I was ultimately in control of, and accountable for, everything that happened in that boat. I’m a bit heavier at the moment so wasn’t as quick as I can be in the lighter stuff but in the windy airs I was ok.

I was made up to finish on the podium, with a strong fleet of guys fresh from the Down Under Series. The fact the guys that finished one and two in Mussanah, finished the other way round at the ISAF World Cup Palma last week was reassuring to see.

Part of me was actually hoping I wasn’t going to enjoy Oman as it would have made my decision making a lot easier in terms of what direction I want my sailing to go. But I was actually surprised by how much I did enjoy it and found myself asking myself if I was ready to give Laser racing up, and whether I may even do a short programme up to the 2013 Laser Worlds, also in Oman in November.

I’m staying on top of my fitness as a matter of course, because if that drops off it’s really tough to start from scratch. If I’m considering doing the Worlds I’ll have to do as much Laser sailing as possible in between my other commitments. One thing I don’t want is to do anything half-heartedly and if I’m brutally honest the only Laser championship I’m really interested in winning again would be the Olympics.

It did feel a little bit strange not being out in Palma but at the same time I wasn’t missing it. It was great to see some of the other Brits putting in good performances across the classes. Alex Mills Barton did a great job in the Laser making the medal race and finishing top Brit in 9th its good to see all the work the guys put in over the winter paying off.

The next event for me is a Melges 20 regatta in Gaeta, Italy. I did my first event with team STIG at the Bacardi Sailing Week in Miami in March. As a new team we went in with no expectations but finished second out of 50 teams, so we’ve set the bar quite high! I’m doing a full season with this team, so I’m going to try to learn a little bit of Italian so I can understand when things get heated!

After that I’m back to the British Virgin Islands with the Melges 32s; the racing we did there earlier this year was some of the best I’ve ever done so I’m really looking forward to that. Then it’s over to Trapani, Italy for the next round of the RC44 Tour, which I’m doing on Ironbound for the season.

It’s going to be another exciting year with some new projects and challenges in some cool boats. Working in new teams and learning new boats is a good way of making your general sailing much better. I am sailing with some real legends and learning lots all the time.

Miami, Italian style

over 8 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

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Its been another busy few weeks with a mixture of sailing from a bit of mothing in Weymouth which was great fun but particularly cold, to Melges 20s in Miami and now Lasers in Oman.
I joined team Stig an Italian team for the Barcardi Cup, the final event of the Melges 20s Miami winter series. With 52 boats registered it was all lined up to be a tough event.
We had a good couple of days training but on the day before racing started we had a collision with another Italian team causing a whole in the boat. Not Ideal preparation as the boat had to be craned out most down and patched up.
After a mad scramble on race day we just made the start. The racing was tight all week with some ups and downs. On the final day we were in the running but had trouble leaving the dock. The boat had been padlocked to it as the bill for the repair had been disputed!
I prepared the boat while the problem was resolved leaving us last to leave the dock again…. We had a good last day to leave us 2nd overall a great result for our first regatta together.

After crossing the finish line I was rushed ashore and given a lift to the airport just in time to make my flight Miami to Oman. What a trip arriving 22 hours later in the early hours. After a few hours sleep it was straight in to helping the young Oman sailors on the water. It was good to see their progress from my last visit a few years ago. The following day it was time for my first day in the Laser since the medal race of the Olympics last summer. A little jet lagged and short of practice I was quite surprised to find myself leading two of the four races after a lap but dropped back a bit by the finish. Yesterday was much better with a 2, 3, 1 scorecard. I feel very rusty but its nice to be back out racing in the laser with some good quality sailors from Australia, NZ and Holland amongst others.
This morning there is no wind. First time in a while I have wanted this, it feels nice to relax a little bit and let my body catch up with itself….

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Air Miles

over 8 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

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It has been a busy couple of weeks traveling to some great locations for some fun sailing.

Januarys first escape from the cold was to Murcia in Spain for an Olympic training camp. We had some productive meetings planning for the next four years and deciding what we needed to do to be in the best position to deliver in Rio. I spent most of the day time out on my bike. The temperature was ideal and cycling with friends was a nice way to do some riding after quite a break post games.

The next stop was Key West. After missing my connection in Miami I was a little delayed but didn’t miss too much. I was sailing on Leenabarca, a Melges 32. The weather conditions were amazing all week with sun and breeze coupled with some great racing. We started off a little slow with some problems in race one but seriously got things together as the week progressed. After winning the last three races we came close to victory but it wasn’t to be, finishing two points short. Second was a good result as we plan to build on this for the next regatta in the British Virgin Islands next month, I cant wait.

After Key West it was the long journey East to Oman for the first event of the RC44 season. Key West, Miami, Zurich, Dubai, Oman. Quite a trip arriving not knowing what time of day it was? I was sailing on board Ironbound an American team with a mix of Kiwis. It was quite an intro to the RC44 with a crash in the first match race and then not the best of days only winning one match against Artemis.

The fleet racing started well until the third race of day one when Aqua tacked in to our stern scoop, eventually snapping the stern off! After a protest we were awarded redress of 7th after we had been 4th and 6th in first two races??? The 44 class do things a little different.

It was a busy night for the guys to try and get a new scoop section to fit the back of the boat. After Aquas didn’t fit Artemis leant us their scoop and the boys made the best of it. We had about a 5mm deeper rear end than the rest of the boat not ideal. We struggled a little in the remaining races for speed in the lighter winds before the final day was blown off after arriving at the start line to see 32 knots on the wind speed dial. We ended up 7th, which was a little disappointing but something to work of for the next one.

I have spent the day putting my Moth together in Weymouth, it would be nice to sail it this week if I can brave the cold…….

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Variety is......

over 8 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

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As I’m writing this I’m looking out at a beautiful but freezing Weymouth wondering if I can muster the will power to go out sailing.

I’ve just got back from Florida where I enjoyed probably the best days’ of racing I’ve done all year at the Melges 32 Gold Cup event in Fort Lauderdale. The actual event was a bit of an end-of-season ‘fun’ regatta, if there is ever such a thing, and I was sailing on a new boat, Warpath, filling in for Morgan Larson, who was off doing the Extreme 40s.

But the sailing was immense; 20 knots onshore every day, enormous waves, 25 degrees, sailing in t-shirts, it was perfect conditions and the downwinds were awesome.

After the Gold Cup event finished I went down to Miami to sail in a Melges 20 event with Barking Mad, as well as do a bit of 49er and Moth sailing.

I am loving Moth sailing at the moment. I’ve had my own Moth for about a month and I’m so excited about it. I even did my first foiling tack in Miami, which I was really buzzing about!

It’s quite weird getting to grips with how to sail the boat, compared with how you sail a Laser. I’m back at square one again and the learning curve is massive. It’s like learning to ride a bike, once you’ve sussed it you just keep wanting to do more of it. I’m quite fast downwind but not so much around the corners yet!

There are a few of the British team sailors, including Stevie Morrison, Ed Powys, Simon Hiscocks, Dylan Fletcher and Richard Mason, who have got Moths down in Weymouth now. We’re all learning together and are getting really competitive amongst ourselves. The 2013 Worlds are in Hawaii and I’ve definitely got aspirations to see if I could be competitive there.

I’ve been really busy doing loads of different types of sailing since the Olympics and that’s the main plan at the moment for next year too. As well as the Moth stuff, I’ve got some really great opportunities in big boats, including more Melges 32 sailing, racing with the RC44s and in TP52s. I’ll also still be keeping my hand in doing bits of Olympic Laser sailing.

It’s not just been about sailing though. I got a new Orange mountain bikes last month and had an awesome time in Wales, doing the trails in Afan Forest Park. It was about six degrees, pouring down with rain but such good fun.

Thanks so much to everyone who has supported me this year and I hope you all have a great Christmas and New Year.

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Melges 32 World Champions

over 8 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

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Well it’s been pretty busy couple of months. With the Olympics behind me the focus has been to get the body fixed so I can enjoy some sailing…. With more physio and a rehab routine things are starting to feel back to the normal, which is a huge relief.

I have been involved with the Oman extreme 40 teams for the act in Cardiff. My primary role was coach for both Oman boats, Air and Wave but I did manage to get onboard to do a bit of sailing before the regatta. The boats are great fun and the racing a little crazy in restricted waters. I enjoyed learning about the boats and watching them in action, it was quite a change for me to be coaching rather than sailing. The guys sailed great taking the top two spots on the podium.

The next campaign was for the Melges 32 World Championships in Newport, Rhode Island. I was calling tactics for a different team to normal, the talented Samba Pa Ti, with a mixture of US and Italian sailors. The guys were really welcoming and made me part of the team straight away.
We had a good week of practice out in the Ocean with a mixture of conditions, some easier than others before the racing got underway.

With 34 boats the fleet was real tough with a huge amount of talent on display. We didn’t get off to the best start with a bit of a disaster on day one. After a 720 at the first mark we blew up a spinnaker on the run in 20knots, posting a 20 and 8 on the score board. Not the ideal start we were after. The following days saw a change of pace with four race wins and some good results.

This left us with a five point lead going in to the final day with only one race to go. After a general recall we got away hesitantly but soon positioned ourselves in front of the boats in second and third. We went on to finish fifth in the race and take the World Title. The excitement on board was incredible as we crossed the line and the Italians burst in to song, jumping around.

It was a fantastic achievement for the team to take their first Melges 32 World Title. Special thanks needs to go to all the support and sailing crew for their resilience and effort. John Kilroy did a great job of driving the boat all week and providing the recourses to facilitate the team.

After a few days at home it was nice to get out windsurfing one day and then yesterday a quick kite surf before I leave for San Fran. I’m really looking forward to catching up with the boys and seeing the AC45s in action.

Olympic Flame Reaches Weymouth

over 9 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

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It was amazing seeing Weymouth brave the really horrible weather and come up out massively to support the Olympic Torch on Thursday.

I have to admit that I ended up watching the whole thing through binoculars from the balcony of our team accommodation at Portland with the local news on in the background as I’d been on a strict rest day and had spent the afternoon chilling out watching the Tour de France. But after seeing it all unfold in the distance I actually wish I’d got all my offshore gear on and made the effort to get amongst it all because it looked really impressive.

There were so many people at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy and on the beach and absolutely fair play to them because the weather was awful! I think that just reflects how much excitement has built up around the Torch Relay and the fact that the Olympics are going to be here very soon.

So much thought and attention to detail has gone into making the Torch Relay a success and speaking as an athlete who’s been to two previous Games, I know the great memories I have of the Olympic Flame being lit in the venues at Athens and Beijing. It’s actually a pretty powerful symbol for most athletes and I’m always on the BBC website seeing where the Torch has been going and how many people are involved and have come out in support.

Every day we have been going out sailing in the past week we have seen the rowers practising taking the Torch from the Academy across the Bay to Weymouth. It all just brings an added realism that we are getting very close now.

We have stopped being able to train out of the Academy now as they put the final Olympic preparations into place. So each morning myself, my coach Arthur and training partner, Nick Thompson, have been meeting down at Portland Marina, getting the RIB over to Town Quay in Weymouth, head over to where the boats are at Weymouth SC, get them rigged, go out sailing and then head back to Portland on the RIB after we have finished training.

It’s actually been nice to have a change of scenery and variety and that time in the RIB there and back gives us a chance to chat things through and reflect a bit on what we have done or needs doing. Once we’re out on the water the areas we can sail in haven’t been restricted yet and it’s pretty good because there are plenty of foreign boats out so once me and Nick have finished doing our own stuff we can join in with the foreign teams for some racing.

Normally my day involves driving across the causeway from Wyke Regis to the Academy at Portland so you don’t get a true sense of what is going on in Weymouth. But having been over there a bit more this week you can see there is already loads going on on the beach, and around the Pavilion, and it’s all looking pretty cool.

The next time we can go back into the Academy it’s the real thing. I saw the Olympic boats that we will use for the games being wheeled in to storage. yesterday You’re always hoping you get a good boat, and I cant wait to get out in it when I get back from the holding camp.

Saskia and I managed to get a couple of days chilling out at a health spa in Exmoor a week or so ago. The whole sailing team were given our last bit of time off before the Games and I didn’t want to fly anywhere because travel is tiring and you lose two days on your time off too getting there and back. We were lucky to have one really nice day when we went walking but the other day we would have been better off in our wetsuits! It was nice just to get some time to play a bit of indoor tennis and relax a bit before the final run in.

Monday 16 is the first day we are officially members of Team GB but for the first few days I’ll stay living at home training as normal until we head off to our team holding camp. That is when we really start becoming the close knit team the British sailing team is known for. It is the point where it becomes just the core group of sailors, coaches and support staff who are involved day-to-day at the Games and your mind becomes very, very focused.

Peripheral things change too, like we start having to wear Team GB kit every day and you need your accreditation to get into the Academy. But nothing can take your mind off the job you have to do, and being part of the British sailing team, until you have given everything you can possibly give to achieve the one thing you have spent four years working towards.

Coaches Regatta

over 9 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

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Its been a busy few weeks training in Weymouth with a variety of conditions. The visibility the last few days has been somewhat China es with some unusual fog and visibility issues. This has all been a bit of a change throwing up some new tests and navigation issues getting in!!!
Nick is back in to the boat and it has been good to get back out sailing with him, some days he was a little tired but he is not far off being right back on the pace after his time off this is good to see.
We have just completed a five day regatta on the Olympic courses run by the coaches. To add a bit of an incentive we all paid entry fees which went in to a prize pool, this was quite a good way to make it a bit more serious. We sailed three races a day on the Olympic courses sailing a different course each day. This has been a real good way to learn about some of the courses we have not raced on in bigger fleets and has been a valuable learning experience. To add to this I won the regatta and a bit of prize money to take the team out for dinner with.
Next week I am going to get out of Weymouth for a few days. The highlight probably being a trip to Wimbledon on Monday. I cant wait.

Final Countdown

over 9 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

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t’s been a busy few weeks in the build up for sail for gold. The regatta was a good test for the games and the last big learning opportunity about the Olympic courses. Although the regatta didn’t quite go the way I planned slipping from what would have left me second to what in the end was 4th after a mistake in the last 20 meters of the medal race. I feel that several valuable lessons have been learnt. In reflection I feel positive that we are doing the right things and moving forward and with just over a month to go I’m excited about the final run in.
This week has been a bit of a change with a few days in London with sponsors and the sail for gold ball.
I’m back on the water next week along with a trip to Loughborough to pick up my Olympic kit. It’s unbelievable how much stuff we get and pretty funny to try and get it all in the back of the Volvo.

The final countdown has begun and I can’t wait!!!

Palma Silver

over 9 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

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After a good regatta in Palma Its been a busy couple of weeks training in Weymouth before heading to Germany for the Worlds at the weekend.
On reflection Palma was a good regatta with progress on the things we have been working on. Starting was a primary goal and it was a little disappointing to pick up an OCS but after a good look at the video it may have been a little unjust! You have to deal with things you can’t control and the remainder of the regatta was good. Things didn’t quite go my way in the medal race and silver it was.

After a couple of days rest it was straight back out on the water. It has been good to get out on the Olympic waters and now with less than 100 days to go it’s getting very exciting. At times it has still been pretty tough particularly cold and very windy so it’s been tiring and the days seem to disappear so quickly.

Today has been the first day off for a while. After swapping over cars this morning for a shinny new Volvo with some sweet branding (Union Jack on the bonnet) I managed to get out windsurfing this afternoon with a bunch of other sailors. It was so much fun to get out there with friends and such nice weather, well sunny and windy! Back out in the Laser tomorrow then a big pack up as the van heads out to Germany.
Exciting times

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Training update

over 9 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

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After a busy week at home unloading containers and having fitness tests and planning meetings it was nice to escape the cold.
I have just been in Tenerife training with a good group of guys at a location near the south airport. The wind has been great with strong thermally enhanced breezes most days creating some physicaly challenging conditions. It’s been a good week working on a few technique changes with Nick and Australia’s finest and coach for the trip Arthur.

Tenerife has some pretty cool landscapes. One day we hired a car and headed up to see the volcano. After getting the cable car up we walked to the crater. Leaving the cable car at over 3000m altitude the walk was quite breathtaking. We all felt a little light headed, dizzy and not to mention short of breath as we wondered passed people on the way up. The smell was a little unpleasant, I think it was mainly sulphur but the views were really impressive looking down on the lava fields and the tops of clouds. At parts the rock was really hot as steam seeped through cracks. This was nice as it was -6 up at the top at over 3700m altitude, the highest point in Spain.

During the trip we played a bit of tennis, we definitely need to play a bit more as we were pretty poor. Arthur’s brother may have coached Boric Becker but the skills had not rubbed off too much! Cycling was also pretty cool although it was pretty much up or down and not much inbetween.

It’s off to london for a few days of Olympic team building. The highlight being a visit to the velodrome on Friday night to see the track cycling.Tenrif

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2 wins in 2 weeks in Florida

over 9 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

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It has been a complete culture shock since getting home from Miami on Monday.

What with the Worlds in Perth, holiday in Bali and then Key West Week followed by the Miami Regatta, I have only spent one night in my house in Weymouth since 17 November and it was absolutely freezing when we got back! The heating was been on full blast from the minute we walked through the door but it took absolutely ages for it to feel warm!

We definitely seemed to have timed it badly coming back from super warm Florida, where there was a perfect 8-15 knots of sailing breeze every day, just as the weather has turned really cold. But it is ok because I’m off to Tenerife for a week’s training with the Spanish Laser boys next Thursday (9 February), so I’ve not got to freeze for too long!

Winning the Miami Regatta was a great start to the Olympic year for me. Although the Worlds were always intended to be a process regatta, to have been in second all week and then mess it up on the last day to finish fifth was very frustrating.

I wasn’t originally going to do Miami but I was in Florida for Key West Week, and there were a few things we had identified to work on after the Worlds that heading up to the Miami Regatta from Key West ended up making sense. I only had a few hours’ training before the event started and felt a bit rusty because I hadn’t been in a Laser since the Worlds but it felt really good to be back in the boat again.

Although there were specific things I was focussing on during the regatta, especially around gaining increased consistency and confidence in some of my starts, it was important that I stamped my authority back down in the Laser and actually won an event. I sailed really well in qualifying and then it was about consolidating the lead after that. The Brazilian, Bruno Fontes, came back strongly however, and we ended up tied on points going into the medal race so it was very pleasing to gain control of the medal race early on and build from there.

Key West Week proved to be a really worthwhile event for heaps of reasons. Not only did we win the Farr 400 class but with it being a new boat to me and the rest of the guys, it was super nice to have a new challenge while still practice the tactical elements out of a Laser environment. I only have three more Laser events on the calendar before the Olympics – Palma, the Worlds and Sail for Gold – and as the Olympics gets closer so the events become less and less about processes and more about results so it was great to get some good race practice in.

After I get back from Tenerife, the 2012 selected British team sailors are going to the Olympic Park Velodrome in London for two days for the Olympic Cycling Test Event, which will be pretty cool. I’ve not seen any of the other Olympic venues outside of Weymouth yet, and I know a few of the cyclists from having won gold at Beijing 2008, so it will be really interesting to see them race and just being there will be pretty inspiration and exciting.

Tomorrow I will be unloading the container from Perth, which Colin Murray is joining me for. He assures me he will be helping out while interviewing! I’m having a fitness test and a few sports science meetings.

After the gym this morning a new Orange mountain bike arrived. A super cool prototype that has been loaned to me, I had a fun ride this afternoon and the wind, mud and rain didn’t stop me from grinning most of the ride. I may need to order some warmer cycling kit though!


over 9 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

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Happy new year! I hope that you have all had time to enjoy the festive period.
After the last few months its quite a shock to return to the cold but nice to spend a night in my own bed!

The training in Perth was good and the focus around technique change seemed to have brought some positive changes and I feel I have made progress here. The Worlds was not a key event but after sitting in second all week I was very frustrated to slip out of the medals on the last day of finals after a poor performance with my mind else where, mainly on planning for the games rather than the job in hand.

Going in to the medal race there was still a good chance of Silver with the points quite tight. After a good start at the starboard end I sailed towards the wall packed with spectators. After bouncing around off the wall tacking and ducking in the disrupted water, the boats that had tacked and ducked early headed right to make big gains. After rounding towards the back I pulled back through to finish 5th which was only good enough for 5th overall a bit of a disappointment.

After the Worlds in Perth I headed to Bali with friends for a surfing trip over Christmas on the way home. It was a great away to chill and rest up ready for the hard miles ahead.

It has been quite a year to look back on with several highs and a few lows. The main aim of the year was to secure selection for the 2012 Olympics which was going to be a tough job. Medaling in the Olympic venue at Sail for Gold and then the Test Event was enough to secure selection, and a step towards 2012. The other highlights include winning at the Princess sofia regatta and medaling in Miami.

I am super excited about 2012 and with the opportunity to work with a new coach over the next few months I feel super motivated with the Olympics closer than you realise There is still plenty of work to do but with the fresh ideas of a new coach and the help of one of the best training partners in the world in Nick Thompson I feel my program will be good enough to deliver in August.

I have had to make a few changes to my program. I am pretty disappointed that I am not heading to the sun and gorgeous sailing conditions of the Dominican Republic tomorrow, instead I fly to the Alps for boot camp on cross country skis! not the nicest way to start the new year but its what is needed and Im sure some bits will be fun.

Thanks to everybody for your ongoing support and I hope you can share and enjoy the journey to 2012 with me.

Australia here we come

over 9 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

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Its been a long trip but quite an awesome day for my first day in oz. After getting to Perth at 3am I managed a bit of sleep before being wide awake…….
The only thing to do was head down the club to sort my boat out. After finding all the kit and a spot of lunch it was off out sailing. The Freemantle doctor was in with wind up to 25 knots and a steep chop. The sailing was great although I did capsize!
I was pretty quick to get back in the boat after all the chat of sharks in the area.
I came in pretty tired, a touch jet lagged but after hearing the lads were off to Perth to watch the Kings of Leon I thought it would be a great way to stay awake listening to one of my favourite bands.
We headed in to Perth for an amazing open air gig. Its days like today when you realise how lucky you are!
Looking forward to a proper sleep and back on the water tomorrow.

Off to the Sun!

over 9 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

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I’m sitting here looking out of my office window at a 470 and a 49er out on the water in a cold, grey Weymouth and all I can say is I’m pleased that I’m off to Australia on Thursday for training before the ISAF Worlds at the end of next month.

I am really looking forward to the three weeks of training in warmer climates with a good training group prior to the Worlds. I’m sure a lot of guys will be really fired up as the Worlds is a key part to the there selection for the games, so it will be good to train against guys that are a little heavier and really optimising for the Perth conditions. It will be fascinating to observe how they perform under huge pressures.

The goal is still to do well in Perth but having already been selected for London 2012, I have to look at the big picture and use the event as a chance to test some of the techniques I’ve been working on in pressurised race situations, to see how automatic they have become.

I’ve been working really hard in the gym over the past month building up my strength, but by doing that I’ve had to compromise some of the cycling that is usually such a big part of my programme. I’m hoping we will start seeing the benefits of that strength work on the water in Perth and it will be interesting to see how the decreased level of bike work translates into a seven-day regatta.

That’s the beauty of being selected early. You are able to periodise your training into blocks, whereby you can concentrate on improvements in certain areas for specified periods of time before bringing everything together to hopefully peak when it matters most.

I’ve had plenty of encouragement on how my campaign is progressing over the past fortnight, not least when my kit failed to turn up on time to a training camp in Tenerife and I managed to still do ok using branches retrieved from a nearby tree as sail battens! I managed to borrow hiking shorts, boots, rudder and tiller and the only thing missing was sail battens so we went and got some twigs and job was a goodun! I’m not sure if it’s worrying or not that they didn’t seem to make much difference to how quickly I sailed!

By day two my kit had arrived so normal service was resumed and I enjoyed a great five days sailing with guys from all over the world in a group invited by the Spaniard Javier Hernández. It is always good to check in with other international sailors. It was a great venue with a couple of days of strong breeze and a bit more lighter, fickle stuff and I was encouraged by how I fared across the range. I definitely want to go back and train there in January.

I headed straight to Tenerife from the start of the Volvo Ocean Race, which was just incredible. Although I went to the stopover in Portsmouth last time, I’ve never been to the start and I just couldn’t get over how professionally everything was set up and run, and how it was all so much bigger than I expected. The biggest thing that struck me was all the teams had these massive Formula 1 style tents and trailers, very impressive.

The Volvo Ocean Race is something I’ve always said I fancied doing for about 24-48 surreal hours before I quickly change my mind and talk myself out of it! But chatting to some of the guys who were doing the race, the amazing challenge of it all, and how revved up they all were before setting off I think it’s definitely something I want to do in the future now. Well until I do another two days’ offshore sailing and convince myself otherwise again!

Wind in Weymouth

over 9 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

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I have been based in Weymouth for the last few weeks getting stuck in to the training. The weather has been surprisingly warm and the training has been good. It was nice to have some foreign visitors over to freshen the training up and a brief trip to Hayling Island for a Qualifier. On the eve of the Qualifier I attended the BOA Gold ball in London for an amazing event including acts from Tom Jones and Tinchie Strider that in the end raised £700,000 for the BOA. Unfortunately this left me with a late night and an early train down to Hayling. Nck and I had some close racing in some glamour conditions 15 knots and large waves, I eventually went on to win, winning both races on Sunday.
I have been involved with a few other cool things including a filming day with Sperry Topsider and the launch of the Volvo Sailing App. The new App is pretty cool, check it out by searching for Volvo Sailing in the App store. Its Cool and its free…..
Today has been the annual World Class day for all sailors in the RYA Squad, lots of info but quite draining. I woke myself up after with a quick ride to the gym on my new Orange bike, the cold air definitely did the trick before nailing my legs in the gym. I hope they still work for racing tomorrow. As they say no pain no gain!

Melges 32 Worlds

over 9 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

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I had a good two weeks in Palma doing the Melges 32 Worlds recently – I managed to do some cycling and gym work around the sailing which was good to keep things ticking along. As a team were a bit down on training time together with only four full days on the water before the worlds. We struggled a little with starting but had some great comebacks. It was a little disappointing not to get any racing in on the final day as it seemed we were getting better every day. We ended up eight in the end, which I guess was a fair result in a competitive fleet.

Its back Laser training again in Weymouth and this weekend we missed a day sailing through no wind, which is very rare! My cousin and his family came to visit this weekend with the aim of learning to Kite surf. The lack of wind didn’t help but we had a cool time paddle boarding, rock climbing and model boating. There wasn’t a huge amount of wind but we managed to get the kites in the air on land and the kids managed to get some serious air! It was nice to break up the training doing some cool stuff with the kids.

Last week G4S invited several of the team to an Olympic celebration in London, hosted by the broadcaster Claire Balding. Sparky, Stevie and Ben and I were interviewed along with legendary Ethiopian distance runner Haile Gebrselassie – what a super cool guy, he was just so humble and interesting to listen to.

The morning after we were invited to run with him. A 6.30 pick up was a struggle but the sun rise as we ran around The Serpentine was pretty cool. I only just managed to keep up, but my calf muscles are still aching almost a week later! He runs about 200 kilometres a week, I’m lucky if I cycle that!? It was fascinating speaking to him about how he keeps himself focussed and what he thinks about while he is doing these training runs.

It is now back to Laser training in Weymouth with Nick Thompson and a couple of Canadian and American guys who are coming over to train with us. I haven’t really done much Laser sailing since the Olympic Test Event in August so I’m really looking forward to it.

At the beginning of next month Nick Dempsey and I are off to Alicante with Volvo guests for the start of the Volvo Ocean Race. I was lucky enough to see the boats leave Portsmouth last time, which was a great spectacle.

After that I’m off to Tenerife for a bit more Laser training, then on to Barcelona for another Melges event, before I leave for Perth for the ISAF Worlds so I’ve got a busy few weeks to look forward to!

Other images included with this entry..

Olympic Selection Sealed

over 9 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

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It has been a difficult few days to try and keep it secret but I can finally say I’m qualified and will be on the start line next year.

I received the phone call while out cycling n Palma, I was expecting the call and heard my phone ringing halfway up a climb. I stopped quickly to recognise Sparkys voice, he asked me to get my breath back, I just wanted the news.
It felt great to be told that I had been selected. The rest of the ride I seemed to have a bit of a spring in my step and rode with a big smile on my face.
I feel like I have got over the first hurdle and can now focus fully on retaining my Olympic title, the longer the trials process goes on the more of a distraction it can become.
It has definitely been the toughest trials process since I missed out in 2000 to Ben. Nick has not made it easy and has pushed me hard. I hope that we can start to work together again as we did before Beijing.
Having selection complete allows me the best preparation for the games. I have a good idea of the things I need to change and develop to be in the best place to deliver at the Olympic games.
I will be going out to Perth at the end of the year for the worlds but will now primarily be using this trip for technique change and development before heading back to Europe for the winter.

One of the biggest challenges is going to be making the most of a home games. There are going to be plenty of distractions and staying focused is going to be key.

I would like to thank all my sponsors and people that have helped me to be in this position. With out my sponsors and the great support team the RYA provides I would not be able to achieve the tough goals I set myself on a daily basis. I had such an amazing experience in China becoming Olympic Champion I can not imagine what it would be like to repeat this on home waters in Weymouth and Portland. Exciting times ahead……

32 Worlds

over 9 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

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I am currently out in Palma for the Melges 32 Worlds with team Red, Wow its smoking hot out here…..
After missing some training together as a team this year we have made good use of the 4 full days training with the race team. The training has been very similar each day with a light sea breeze developing and ranging between 8-12 knots. This has allowed for some nice cycling in the morning as the riding out here is amazing. Tomorrow will be our last day on the water before the Worlds kicks off and there is a change in the weather, a spot of rain and more wind. A bit of variety will be a nice change I suppose.
We are down on training time but will hopefully be able to challenge the top teams. Its going to be a tough regatta but if we can pull together we can do well.

Waiting time…..

over 9 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

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After a really full on few weeks in Weymouth with Sail for Gold Regatta and then the Olympic test event it’s a time to look back and reflect.

Leaving with two medals is hopefully enough to show the selectors I am capable of medaling at the games next year, but I cant help feeling a little disappointed. In both regattas I went in to the medal race with a realistic chance of winning gold, and only came away with Bronze.

I have had a good look at myself and hopefully identified what needs to be done to make the difference for the games next year. It is a little difficult to plan for the next few months until the selectors make an announcement on what happens next in September.

I have medaled at every regatta this year except Hyere and been unbeaten by any of the other British boats this year in International competition. This has been a bit of a distraction as I feel that I have not achieved my full potential due to a bit of a break down in the squad system. It’s always going to be hard when two guys are competing for one spot. Hopefully we can start working together again in the build up to the games to give GBR the best possibility of winning.

I finally got out of Weymouth after what I think has been my longest stint there for a long, long time…… I joined Saskia for Mersea week but was unable to get a ride on a Winkle Brig (the class that Saskia was racing) apparently my CV was not up to scratch!

I did get the opportunity to go racing onboard and helm Kismet, (somebody obviously saw I had some potential) a beautiful classic built in 1893 and restored back to immaculate condition . She wasn’t quite as responsive as the Laser but was a joy to sail. Probably the high light of the week was Richard (the owner of Kismet) taking me for a round of golf after sailing in his helicopter. After getting over the initial anxiety of my first helicopter flight I was allowed to take the controls, Wow amazing…..

I headed back to Weymouth on Thursday for the RS100 sprint race challenge to help raise money for Cancer research. The boat looked pretty tricky to sail and I haven’t sailed a single handed asymmetric boat before. With only 10 minutes to practise, things didn’t look good! I capsized leaving the slipway, capsized attempting my first gybe and then again attempting my first gybe with the spinnaker up!

The growing crowd seemed to appreciate this as they jeered on.
The two minute gun went before I had completed a gybe with out getting wet not ideal. Luckily I was a quick learner and went on to win the heats and final, almost feeling like I knew what I was doing by the end.
After receiving my prize I decided to auction it off to the crowd and raised another £100 for a good cause.

Its back home to see my new niece for the first time and catch up with friends before its time to put my head back down with the next block of training, exciting times ahead…………..

Pre Olympic Test Event Bronze

over 9 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

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After a tough week of racing in the bay, it all came down to the medal race. With all three medals still up for grabs it was everything to gain nothing to loose. I had a few points to make up but, was determined to give it my best shot. After an early lead up the first beat a few boats came round the top mark in front. After a solid run I took the lead up the second beat and, went on to win the race. The drama was unfolding behind as Tom (AUS) made a good come back to cross the line just in front of Rutger (NED). Unfortunately this left me with Bronze. A little bit disappointed but I guess I couldn’t have done much more. With plenty of things to work on over the next 12 months it is time for a brief break before knuckling down to get where I need to be in 2012…
I will be heading east for the premiere West Mersea Race week for a few days and then back to Weymouth for Thursday Evening at the RS games to help raise money for Cancer Research…

The medal race can be watched below

Pre Olympic Test Event

over 9 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

Well after all the waiting we are up and running….
Today was pretty tricky with a 10- 12 knot building thermal. After taking a penalty at the top of the first beat I recovered to 6 in race one and then followed it up with a 7 in race two to leave me 4th Overall. Not quite the start I was after but still it was ok.
Keep up to date with the week on facebook and twitter!/paulgoodisongbr

Full on

over 10 years ago by Paul Goodison | permanent link | comments (0)

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It has been a full on few weeks of training as I prepare for the Olympic test event. I opted to train in Weymouth rather than travel to Finland for the Europeans as did a few of the other top sailors as I feel the Test event is the priority and learning as much as possible about the weather conditions in Weymouth is key. This also left me with the opportunity to compete in the Round the Island race this year which was pretty epic with strong winds and big waves.
Check out the video of our race below

I have had quite a mix of people to sail with, sailing with the Finn guys for a week, this was good fun all be it a little frustrating as they are just a fraction quicker. It was good to do a week with the Italian Laser team and then the Swedish Laser guys for some quality time in Weymouth bay. The last few days Nick has been around and Brad Funk is here so we have had a good mix of sailing golf and cycling. It is getting busier and busier as more teams arrive for training.
Training is all going well, it has seemed to be a little one dimensional with strong South Westerly’s we did have a few days of North easterly to mix it up. It seems a while since we did any non hiking sailing hopefully get a few days practice in this stuff at the weekend.
I am feeling pretty exhausted after a full on few weeks but finding it hard to do nothing…… Its raining today so it should be a bit easier and it looks like a good stage of the tour so the sofa is the place to be this afternoon…..
Hopefully the weather clears up tomorrow and I can make it out for my first bike race of the year, feeling very inspired by le tour….

Keep up to date on twitter and face book!/pages/Paul-Goodison/139497762780076!/paulgoodisongbr.