Winning starts key to beating Luna Rossa: Goodison

American Magic believes winning the start is the key to beating Luna Rossa. Photo: Getty Images
American Magic believes winning the start is the key to beating Luna Rossa. Photo: Getty Images
American Magic mainsail trimmer Paul Goodison believes the key to beating Luna Rossa in the Prada Cup semifinal will be winning the starts.

The New York syndicate have been hard at work putting the final touches on their broken boat in time for this weekend's semifinal races following their dramatic capsize during the Prada Cup round robins.

Speaking on NZME's video show Beyond The Cup, Goodison said the team hopes to "carry on where we left off" as they prepare to re-launch Patriot this afternoon.

"The hole is pretty much sealed up now. The guys are just working on the detail and around that. All the electronics are back in. Boards are going up and down, we're testing all the electronics

"It's pretty exciting for all of us watching and trying to help out where we can. And hopefully fingers crossed it all goes well and we might even be in the water [today].

"We're reassured by [design product manager] Silvio [Arrivabene] and the guys that the boat will be in a similar state. The boat was going really well. We were sailing much better than we had been. The communication on board was much better. We've just got to carry on from where we left off and if we can do that we'll be in good shape."

While American Magic were away from the water, they've been studying their upcoming opponents closely and will hope to replicate the speed during their last meeting against the Italians.

"I think it's going to be really tight racing," Goodison said of the upcoming clash against Luna Rossa.

"We've seen in the past if you manage to start well and stay in front, it's really difficult to get past.

"We obviously saw some incredible racing at the weekend with Ineos and the Prada guys with lots of lead changes. But I think if you can get out in front and you don't make any mistakes, then it's going to be really difficult for the other guys to pass.

"I think the main focus is the starting – we've got to be much better with the starting and get off the line clean – and I think if we can get out in front, then we can stay out in front."

Goodison admits the semifinal will be "tough" but says the team are feeling confident of returning and beating Luna Rossa.

"I think it's just step by step. Obviously there's still a lot of work to do and these guys are going to be a really tough competition, but if we can start where we left off, we were obviously in really good shape before the incident two weeks ago.

"And if we can sail like we did there, then anything is possible. We are all full of belief. We all believe we can do it. We just need to get out there and actually do it now."

Since the capsize, the sailing community has rallied around American Magic to help out in every way they can, from Team New Zealand helping prevent the boat from sinking to rival teams babysitting American Magic members' kids.

"A massive thank you to all the guys who helped," Goodison said.

"We were out there on the water and were within inches of the boat going down. To see fellow teammates from other teams come and jump on board to try and help us to save the yacht, it felt really special to be involved with.

"And then since returning to shore, the support we've received all week from the local community … we're lucky to have received all that support. We've just got to get out there and go racing again."

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