March 1, 2023
Yes, there’s GB, NZ and USA but who says Canada can’t produce some sailing stars. Billy Gooderham is well on his way as flight controller (more on that later) on Canada’s SailGP F50. As you can well imagine, this is no small feat, but the good news is that Canada’s is developing world class sailors to accomplish these tasks.
Dollars are a good place to start. As Billy notes with a laugh, “nothing goes upwind like money.” While not quite at the Mitch Marner level, Sail GP crew get paid. They particularly enjoy paydays when they win – the SailGP organization puts considerable prize money on the table each race and the wining crews share it. The money in the league also means that things are state-of-the art and super-challenging. For SailGP to succeed, the team backers are putting their wallets where their mouth is and team members like Billy besides being talented, are dedicated and professional.
He has earned his way to this job. Billy spent his summers at the RCYC and had a successful junior racing career, including representing Canada at the 2005 ISAF Volvo Youth Worlds, before he began sailing 49ers. As a member of the National Team from 2009-2012, Billy was a three-time Canadian 49er champion, as well as the 2009 49er North American Champion.
As a pro, he has sailed with several teams, from C-Class catamarans to Melges 24s and TP52s. His professional career highlights include a 2018 Melges 24 North American Tour overall win and 2019 Around Antigua Race Line Honours finishing 1st IRC Overall.
What does the flight controller do?
CANSailGP’s skipper, Phil Robertson explains Billy’s complex and skill-demanding role. To get a look at the complexity of the flight controller’s role and experience the high-tech of Canada’s F50, you MUST watch this exclusive video.
When Billy is not sailing, he enjoys spending time at his farm north of Caledon with wife, Alex, and his rescue hound, Boone.