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Zhik 2016 Isotak Ocean

Paul Goodison interview: Moth Worlds versus America's Cup

by Jonny Fullerton 24 Jul 2017 18:01 BST 23 July 2017
Paul Goodison in the Italian Moth Series at Garda © Martina Orsini

Jonny Fullerton interviews Paul Goodison, current Moth World Champion, ahead of the 2017 Worlds: talking about breakages, Moth versus America's Cup sailing, and what he has been missing these past two years

Jonny Fullerton: We're here at the Moth Worlds at Garda, and I think you've probably wrapped up the Italian Series – the precursor to the Worlds – with three races today in glamour conditions. How are you going?

Paul Goodison: It was just incredible conditions out there. I think I've only ever sailed keelboats at Garda before. To be out here in a Moth where you've got so many modes you can play around with - the venue is amazing - It's such an enjoyable place to sail.

Jonny: Was it a bit of a baptism of fire; I guess you haven't had that much time in the Moth this year? You've been showing a clean pair of heels, and impressive speed. How did you catch up so quickly, after the racing in Bermuda?

Paul: Myself, Nathan [Outteridge], Francesco [Bruni] and Goobs [Iain Jensen] did a little bit of Moth sailing earlier this year. A lot of the Artemis training was based around starting practice and top mark drills, and we did a lot of boat-handling stuff. I had quite a lot of speed last year at the Worlds, with that kit, and a nice CST mast. We've just been working on the next generation of the sail and it all seems to be working quite nicely right now.

Jonny: So this is the same boat that you had in 2016, just with a few mods?

Paul: To be honest, not much has changed since last year. Obviously there's a little bit of extra aero package – just copying some of the other boats. Rob [Greenhalgh] I think did a nice job last time, so a few things came from his boat. And then just a few refinements on the sail and mast. A lot of work has gone into the battens. Then again, some of it was luck, because there wasn't much time for testing; I haven't sailed the boat for the last three months. A lot of the decisions of what to bring were made three months ago. It looks like it's all working! I think we got it right.

Jonny: It's an incredible fleet here; you're really got the best of the best: Moth sailors, Olympic champions, America's Cup sailors. It's an incredible field.

Paul: Yes, and it's an incredible venue. To be out there sailing with nearly 200 boats around is quite a thrill. It's a nice break after the intensity of the America's Cup; it's nice to be out sailing and simply enjoying it.

Jonny: So what are you expectations for the Worlds? You're going in very confident in a very strong position.

Paul: I think there are probably ten really good guys in it – all those Olympic and America's Cup sailors - all are very capable. I think it will come down to who manages to string it together all the way through the week. And hopefully breakages won't play a part; we all know these boats are quite fragile. At times you've got to back off and look after the boat. So I think it's a very open book, and it will be exciting to see what happens.

Jonny: Well good luck this week. What is your schedule for the rest of the year?

Paul: As of last week we're all a bit jobless. The America's Cup is finished, and we're now waiting on the Kiwis to see what happens next. I have a little bit of Melges sailing lined up with a team called Samba Pa Ti based in San Francisco; we've got the Melges 20 Worlds coming up. And a few other little bits and bobs. It's nice to be back out racing. The thing with the America's Cup is you do very little racing over the two years, and I guess that's the biggest thing I miss.

Jonny: So plenty more Moth sailing then?!

Paul: As much Moth sailing as I can possibly do! It's an incredible boat and so much fun to be out there sailing with all your mates.

Jonny: Thanks very much Paul.