SailGP Season 2 leader shuffles line-up
Published on May 19th, 2021
Following Great Britain SailGP Team’s winning start to Season 2 in Bermuda, the team is making planned changes for the next two SailGP events in Taranto, Italy (June 5-6) and Plymouth, UK (July 17-18).
Due to long standing personal commitments, the team’s Skipper Ben Ainslie will have countryman Paul Goodison in his role. Goodison (above), a 3-time Moth World Champion, joins fresh from the 36th America’s Cup where he was the mainsail trimmer for the US challenger American Magic.
Hailing from Rotherham, Goodison brings a wealth of Olympic and foiling experience to the table having competed for Team GB at the 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing, and 2012 London Olympic Games. Goodison won Gold at the Beijing Games and was crowned Laser World Champion in 2009.
“It’s a great sporting spectacle with an unrivaled line up of athletes so when Ben called with this opportunity, I jumped at the chance to be involved,” said Goodison. “Italy will be a special event for my family as my wife is Italian, and we currently live with our son in Garda, and to then have the opportunity to head home and compete in Plymouth, it doesn’t get much better!”
Anna Burnet (GBR), who will be competing in the Nacra 17 class for Team GB in her first Olympic Games in Tokyo, will also join the team in Taranto, Italy, in the second of the team’s three-event trial to select a female athlete to join the sailing squad full-time for Season 2. Hannah Diamond (GBR), Ellie Aldridge (GBR), Nikki Boniface (GBR) and Emily Nagel (GBR) will complete the programme in Plymouth, UK.
“It’s a really exciting opportunity and I feel honoured to be selected for the trials,” said Burnet. “There are so many very talented female sailors in the world but historically not many of them have been given the right opportunities to prove themselves. SailGP is now offering this opportunity and I hope it will be a big step forward for female participation in the sport.
“When I was little, I really admired any successful female sailors so I hope for young girls getting into the sport they can see a future in professional sailing that maybe wasn’t as visible before.
“It’s a very exciting league, the F50s are very cool boats and my aspirations with the team are simple; to work hard with the team, do everything I can to learn as much as I can onboard the boat, and then to hopefully help the team win some races!”
Great Britain SailGP Team for Taranto and Plymouth:
Paul Goodison | Helm | GBR | 43
Paul ‘Goody’ Goodison hails from Rotherham, UK and brings a wealth of Olympic and foiling experience having competed for Team GB at the 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympic Games. Winning Laser Gold at the Beijing Games Paul then headed into the world of foiling culminating in becoming a three-time Moth World Champion (2016, 2017 & 2018).
Most recently Paul has finished his second America’s Cup campaign as wing trimmer for US challenger American Magic.
Luke Parkinson | Flight Controller | AUS/GBR | 31
Luke ‘Parko’ Parkinson has competed in both the America’s Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race, including winning the 2014/15 edition with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. Parko will control the main system on the F50 which alters the rudders and foils.
Parko competed with Iain ‘Goobs’ Jensen for the Japan SailGP Team in Season 1 before joining Ben Ainslie’s British outfit.
Iain Jensen | Wing Trimmer | AUS | 32
Iain Jensen, known as ‘Goobs’, brings a significant amount of knowledge and experience to the British team, having competed in two Olympic Games (including winning a gold and silver medal) and in three America’s Cup campaigns. Goobs will be trimming the revolutionary wing sails aboard Great Britain’s F50.
Matt Gotrel | Grinder | GBR | 32
Matt Gotrel returned to sailing after winning an Olympic gold medal in rowing in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. He has since competed as a Grinder in SailGP since in the inaugural season and in the America’s Cup with the British Challenger in Auckland.
Neil Hunter | Grinder | GBR | 25
Neil Hunter, who at 25 is the youngest member of the team, was the youngest sailor to compete in the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda in 2017, where he was also part of the British team that won the Youth America’s Cup. He subsequently competed in the 36th America’s Cup in Auckland earlier this year. This will be his second consecutive season with the Great Britain SailGP Team.
Richard Mason | Grinder | GBR | 33
Rich Mason is a highly experienced professional sailor who has competed in various catamaran classes including the M32 Series, GC32 Racing Tour and the Extreme Sailing Series. His biggest achievement to date, however, was on one hull when he completed the gruelling, single-handed Solitaire du Figaro race. This will be his second consecutive season with the Great Britain SailGP Team.
Anna Burnet | Athlete Trialist | GBR | 28
Anna Burnet began sailing at the Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club on the west of Scotland. At youth level she won the female National title in the 420 before progressing to the Olympic 470 class winning Silver and Bronze medals at the Junior World Championships in 2012 and 2013.
In 2016, Burnet changed class teaming up with John Gimson as crew in the Nacra 17 gaining Team GB selection for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics through strong performances that included winning the 2020 World Championships plus silver medals at the 2019 European Championships, World Cup Final and the Olympic test event.
Format for SailGP events:
• Each event runs across two days.
• There are three races on each day, totaling six races at each event.
• The opening five fleet races involve every team.
• The final match race pits the three highest ranking teams against each other to be crowned event champion.
• The season ends with the Grand Final, which includes the Championship Final Race – a winner-takes-all match race for the $1m prize.
SailGP Season 2 Schedule*
April 24-25, 2021 – Bermuda Grand Prix
June 5-6, 2021 – Italy Grand Prix – Taranto
July 17-18, 2021 – Great Britain Grand Prix – Plymouth
August 20-21, 2021 – ROCKWOOL Denmark Grand Prix – Aarhus
September 11-12, 2021 – France Grand Prix – Saint-Tropez
October 9-10, 2021 – Spain Grand Prix – Andalusia
January 29-30, 2022 – New Zealand Grand Prix – Christchurch
March 26-27, 2022 – United States Grand Prix – San Francisco (Season 2 Grand Final)
*Subject to change
Australia, Tom Slingsby
Denmark, Nicolai Sehested
France, Billy Besson
Great Britain, Ben Ainslie
Japan, Nathan Outteridge
New Zealand, Peter Burling
Spain, Jordi Xammar/ Phil Robertson*
United States, Jimmy Spithill
*Season 1 skipper Phil Robertson (NZL) will helm in an interim capacity while Jordi Xammar prepares for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Established in 2018, SailGP seeks to be an annual, global sports league featuring fan-centric inshore racing in some of the iconic harbors around the globe. Rival national teams compete in identical F50 catamarans with the season culminating with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race.