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The Future as seen by 2011 F18 Champ Greg Goodall

by Shauna McGee Kinney on 28 Jan 2011
Greg Goodall and Brett Goodall work the upwind leg (sail 222) - 2011 Australian F18 National Championship at Gosford Sailing Club Lulu Roseman
2011 Australian F18 Champion - Greg Goodall shares his insight into future sailors to watch and how catamaran classes are changing.

Congratulations to Skipper Greg Goodall and Crew Brett Goodall on their Australian F18 National Championship. The F16 and F18 catamaran championships were held at Gosford Sailing Club from Saturday 22 January to Monday 24 January 2011.

40 competitors registered for the F18 class, with 37 teams competing in the actual competition. Greg commented that the Gosford venue is nearly landlocked and the geography makes for variable wind conditions.


Greg commented that both the variety of conditions and a stronger field than the previous year, made for very competitive racing and several different leaders during each race. Steve Brewin and Jack Benson were nipping at Greg and Brett’s heels for the first days of the regatta and overtook Greg and Brett in several of the final days racing. The changing places made the racing exciting, with Steve and Jack placing second overall at the end of the series.


Among the up and coming sailors in the top of the fleet, Greg said that Jason Waterhouse stood out as a future, top international athlete and Olympian. Jason is one of the younger competitors at 19 years old and had a consistent and strong performance. The team of Jason Waterhouse and Josh McKnight finished third overall in a fleet of very experienced competitors.

Another team that made their mark with a fourth overall at the 2011 Australian F18 Nationals was Adam Beashel and Grant Pewell. Adam has America’s Cup team experience from the 2003 and 2007 events. He’s a top international 49er sailor and delivered an extremely good series on the Hobie Wild Cat F18 catamaran.


The Cat is back

In November 2010, the ISAF recommended that a mixed multihull class should be added back into the 2016 Olympics. The mixed team will be one male and one female athlete and several classes of catamarans are being reviewed. ( See ISAF’s Annual Conference - Multihull 2016 update from Paul Pascoe http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?Nid=76926 ). The ISAF Committee meets again in May 2011 in St Petersburg in Russia to vote on the final classes.

As the boat builder and designer for his Australian High Performance Catamaran company, Greg was keenly interested in what the ISAF was looking to achieve with their selection. He notes that the media sells the Olympics and the boat needed to not only be exciting, but a boat that could be sailed by people from all around the world.

For comparison, there are classes of catamarans such as the former Olympic-class Tornado that cater to larger sailors, such as the size of sailors coming out of Europe, Australia and the US. And, there are boats that cater to smaller crew and may be more accommodating to Asian nations who typically have lighter weight athletes.

Greg expects the ISAF committee to have a close review and tight vote between the Hobie Wild Cat (Formula 18), NACRA 20 (Formula 20), AHPC Viper (Formula 16) and even the popular NACRA Infusion (Formula 18). In contrast, Greg commented that he really enjoyed the Formula 18 national and international events, because no matter which brand a team is loyal to, all the top guys on all types of designs are sailing together.

Coming back to the Formula 18 box rule, Greg notes that the design rules are pretty broad and have lead to an evolution and Charles Darwin’s survival of the fittest. While the maximum size of a hull or sail is defined, there is no restriction on the hull shapes or sail shapes. Within the last 4 to 5 years, the designs have refined themselves. Common characteristics and performance trade-offs are being understood making for exciting racing.

Lake Sailor goes Global

Greg grew up at Bendigo Yacht Club and raced on Lake Eppalock, an inland, man-made lake located over 130 km / 70 miles north of Melbourne – Australia. The club had around 700 members when he first started sailing there as a youth in the mid-60s. Bendigo Yacht Club’s large membership made for great training and competition.

Greg started his first years in a homemade boat that was much like a Sabot. As he got older he moved into the (pre-foil) Moths and spent over five years competing in the class. Around the age of 16, Greg won the Junior Moth Victoria State Title. Greg was an adventurer and switched to the Mosquito Catamaran class. He quickly achieved two or three State and National titles within a few years and made an easy transition into the A-Class catamaran.

The single-handed, high-performance A-Class was Greg’s move into more international racing. In 1981, Greg placed third at the A-Class World championship at Botany Bay – Australia located about 37 km / 23 miles south of Sydney – Australia. He went on to take Australian national titles in 1981 and a shared title with Brian Hooper in 1982.

Prior to winning the 1981 A-Class Australian Nationals, Greg made a promise to his competitors that he’d compete in the Worlds in Italy that same year if he took the title. Greg was a man of his word and placed third in the A-Class worlds at Cesanatico on the Adriatic Sea.

Greg was often competing against his brother Alan Goodall, who took the 1984 and 1985 A-Class world titles. Greg was focused on winning and kept at the international and national regattas until he finally achieved an A-Class World titles in 1988 and 1990.


Greg and Alan joined forces on the double handed Tornado catamaran for a seven year campaign that included trials for the 1988 and 1992 Olympics. While the brothers were at the top of the fleet, they just missed Australian Olympic team slots by the smallest margin. So, there was much excitement when Greg moved in 2002 and 2003 into the newly organized and quickly growing Formula 18 catamaran class. By 2004, Greg had built and was racing a Capricorn Formula 18 and has attended F18 worlds every year since.

Greg’s got the personality, perseverance and support from his family to continue pursuing top events. He has been extremely committed to sailing for the last 48 years and looks forward to several Australian state championships in New South Wales, Victoria and regional regattas in Melbourne. He’s traveling to Europe starting in June to train and participate in July in both the F18 Worlds on Lake Balaton in Hungary and the F16 Worlds on Étang de Carcans in Bordeaux - France.

Keep a look out for Greg Goodall at the top of the results in the major events in 2011.

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