Great Britain SailGP head into the Tranto SailGP event leading the Season 2 Championship courtesy of Ben Ainslie’s team’s victory in Bermuda last time out.
For this event, Paul Goodison is replacing Ben Ainslie as helm, due to some long-standing personal commitments. This substitution will have all eyes on the British team as it aims to retain its position at the top of the leaderboard.
Australia will sense this as a real opportunity to topple the Brits, and Goodison will have to live up to Ainslie’s brilliance in SailGP to fend off Tom Slingsby’s team.
Not that Goodison is any push-over . . . His CV includes Olympic Gold in 2008 and three foiling International Moth World Championship titles (2016, 2017 & 2018). Plus he was a key member of the US challenger American Magic at the recent 36th America’s Cup in New Zealand.
And he was previously with the Swedish entry Artemis Racing for the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda performing the role of mainsail trimmer for both teams.
Goodison . . . “There are high expectations. These guys are used to winning and I have to be realistic that we are going to get very little sailing time together. It won’t be easy, but if we get it right and start clicking as a team then we will have the chance do well.”
Australia and France round out the top three of the leaderboard having secured podium finishes on the Great Sound in Bermuda, and all three teams will be hoping for just as impressive performances in Taranto.
New Zealand SailGP Team will be looking to make a recovery after their poor SailGP debut in Bermuda, but it could be something of an uphill struggle with Pete Burling and Blair Tuke both missing the action in Taranto, due to Olympic commitments.
Changes for New Zealand include . . . Arnaud Psarofaghis (helm), James Wierzbowski (flight controller) and New Zealand Olympic sailor Jason Saunders (wing trimmer).
A better showing than Bermuda is required if the team isn’t to fall off the pace in the Championship leaderboard after only two events.
The Taranto event takes place across two days – Sat 5 and Sun 6 June – with six races scheduled, five fleet races and The Final.
The first day includes three fleet races, while the second day has the other two fleet races and ends with The Final – the last race of the event.
The Italy Grand Prix 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
- Luke Parkinson | Flight Controller | AUS/GBR
- Iain Jensen | Wing Trimmer | AUS
- Matt Gotrel | Grinder | GBR
- Neil Hunter | Grinder | GBR
- Richard Mason | Grinder | GBR
- Anna Burnet | Athlete triallist