The Great Britain SailGP Team took flight on Taranto Harbour in southern Italy with Paul Goodison as Driver for the first time, as training began for the Italy Sail Grand Prix this weekend.
For Goodison it was an opportunity to get to grips with the uprated flying F50s.
He had previously sailed in the foiling F50 catamarans with Artemis Racing in the 35th America’s Cup before joining American Magic’s America’s Cup campaign in Auckland recently.
“It was a really good, tricky first day for me. We managed just over two hours in anywhere from 8 to 20 knots of breeze, really gusty and shifty stuff.”
“It was great to be back in the catamaran. It’s very nimble and manoeuvrable and you get punished hard for getting little things wrong, but that’s what makes it so exciting. Today was all about settling in with the team and getting used to the very simple stuff.”
“We had a couple of loose laps and moments, including one where we popped the rudder out and took quite a lot of water over the deck, but by the end of the day I managed to handle the boat a lot better, got more used to the controls and we had a few good laps at the end.”
Whilst Paul may be new to the British team, he is very much a familiar face, having sailed with both Flight Controller Luke ‘Parko’ Parkinson and Wing Trimmer Iain ‘Goobs’ Jensen previously at Artemis Racing.
That strong existing relationship and his background with the British Olympic squad – he is a Laser Gold medallist – has helped Paul settle well into the team very quickly.
The Italy Grand Prix starts on Saturday 5 June in Taranto and can be watched live in the UK on Sky Sports and free on SailGP’s YouTube channel.
- Race Day 1: 5th June, 12:30 BST
- Race Day 2: 6th June, 12:30 BST
Great Britain SailGP Squad for the Italy Grand Prix:
- Paul Goodison | Driver | GBR | 43
- Luke Parkinson | Flight Controller | AUS/GBR | 31
- Iain Jensen | Wing Trimmer | AUS | 32
- Matt Gotrel | Grinder | GBR | 32
- Neil Hunter | Grinder | GBR | 26
- Richard Mason | Grinder | GBR | 33
- Anna Burnet | Athlete triallist | 28