Paul Goodison goes cat sailing

Mark Lloyd /
The Beijing Laser gold medallist on his new role as Ben Ainslie's Extreme 40 tactician
Beijing Laser Gold medallist Paul Goodison is a man in demand on owner driver circuits like the Melges 32 and RC44, but this year faces a new challenge, called up to do mainsheet and tactics on the JPMorgan BAR Extreme 40 with Sir Ben Ainslie. Ainslie and Goodison were sparring partners in the Laser prior the Sydney Olympics in 2000, when the knight of the realm earned his first Olympic gold following the famous dust-up with Robert Scheidt. Goodison says that in their down time training he and Ben did a little bit of big boat sailing together, but this will be the first time they have sailed together in anger since then. Goodison made an attempt to get into multihull sailing last year when he acquired an A-Class cat, but then found himself without the time to put into it. He’s also had the occasional taste of the Extreme Sailing Series, when he coached the two Omani crews on The Wave, Muscat and Oman Air in Cardiff two years ago. “I have always been interested in doing some cat sailing and then Ben asked me and it was a bit of a no brainer to get involved and learn more about it," Goodison explains. "Ben is the man to sail with, rather than anyone else. If you could pick a helm to do tactics for, he’d be at the top of the list. For me, doing a lot of owner driver stuff this year, it is going to be great to get to do some fully pro-ed up sailing. It will be a big task, but something I am looking forward to.” Goodison acknowledges that he’ll be on a steep learning curve, however there are old Extreme 40 hands on board, including bowman Matt Cornwell and their as yet unannounced fifth crew