Great Britain is racing for home glory in Plymouth this weekend, and Interim Driver Paul Goodison is hoping It’s Coming Home.
The Great Britain Sail Grand Prix, taking place on Plymouth Sound on 17-18 July, pits SailGP’s eight national teams against each other in the race to be crowned third event winner of Season 2.
The Brits, home team for this event, won the opening event in Bermuda before Japan claimed victory in Italy last time out.
The British team did not perform as well in Taranto as Bermuda, with Interim Driver Goodison – sitting in for Ben Ainslie – struggling to come to terms with the F50 on his SailGP debut.
But with an event’s worth of experience to his name, and a sell-out crowd set to cheer the Brits on this weekend, Goodison is excited to prove his credentials on home waters.
But the big question on everybody’s lips is ‘Is It Coming Home?’. The football may not have, but can Goodison achieve success where Gareth Southgate could not?
“Let’s hope so!”, said Goodison at the pre-event press conference. “I thought it was coming home with the football, and what a tremendous game that was to watch.
“I’m really excited and looking forward to the racing, and if it all goes our way I’m sure we will be up there.”
Goodison also has the benefit of having sailed on Plymouth Sound before, and he’s hoping to use this to his advantage – whilst also having fun out on the water.
“From sailing here in student times I remember having a lot of fun here so I’m hoping we have a lot of fun again,” he added. “I’ve sailed in the bay before so I’m sure that will be an advantage, but as was shown yesterday [during practice racing] anyone can win in these conditions.”
While the Brits will be racing for home glory, the rival Spanish team are taking to the water to extend its lead as Championship leaders.
Phil Robertson’s team has not yet won an event this season, but it sits atop the Season Championship having displayed a level of consistency so far unmatched by any other team.
The seven other SailGP teams will be gunning to overtake the Spaniards this weekend, so is Robertson starting to feel there’s a target on his back?
“I haven’t seen one yet,” joked the Kiwi. “You’ve got to be consistent and keep chipping away and making the right calls in every race. We haven’t done anything special and we’ve got big steps to take to catch up to the other teams.
“But we’ve got the level where we are comfortable doing things on the boat, and the young guys on the team are now coming up with maneuvers and creative solutions which is what you want to see.
“[The young guys] are adaptable, and in Taranto we adapted with three crew on board to sail through the fleet.
“That’s the beauty of our team: We’re young, we’re keen, we’ve got no egos – and that’s dangerous.”