Paul Goodison on how to drive a foiling F50 in SailGP

Ahead of this weekend’s Great Britain SailGP in Plymouth, British helmsman Paul Goodison shares what it’s like to drive a foiling F50 catamaran

Great Britain SailGP Team helmed by interim skipper Paul Goodison in action during a practice session ahead of Great Britain SailGP, Event 3, Season 2 in Plymouth, Great Britain. 15 July 2021. Photo: Ricardo Pinto for SailGP. Handout image supplied by SailGP

Paul Goodison is one of the most talented foiling sailors around – he’s a three-time International Moth World Champion and was mainsail trimmer on the American Magic AC75 in this year’s America’s Cup, doing the same role on the Artemis Racing foiling catamaran in the previous Cup. Oh and he’s also an Olympic Gold medallist. But until a few weeks ago, he’d never competed in the SailGP circuit – which makes taking over the wheel of the foiling F50 for Ben Ainslie for the Great Britain SailGP Team all the more challenging.

Having won the season opener in Bermuda, Ainslie stepped out of the circuit for two events (he recently announced the addition of their second child to the Ainslie family, congratulations to Ben and his wife Georgie), handing over to Goodison for the Italian stage of the tour.

We spoke to ‘Goody’, as he is widely known, just before the start of the third SailGP event in Plymouth, UK, which kicks off tomorrow.

“It’s very new,” he explains. “My my role with Artemis a long time ago was as the backup helmsman to start with and then I ended up being a wing trimmer when it came round to the 50.

“Then the last time round I did a reasonable amount of driving the AC75 early on when Dean [Barker] was away, we swapped in and out a little bit, then I was racing as the wing trimmer in the last America’s Cup. To be stepping into this kind of fleet racing with eight boats and reaching starts is all quite exciting and quite different from what I’m used to.

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