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The SB20 Triple Sailing Championships came to a close after five days of exciting races with Team Kidzink winning the final title. The championship was held at the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club (DOSC) from 29th January to 2nd February 2024.

The overall title was won by the host nation's Charlotte Borghesi sailing with Pippa Kenton-Page, Goncalo Lopes and Artem Basalkin on Team Kidzink. After a 13-race series and a closely fought battle for the podium, UAE-based teams Desert Eagle and Superbella achieved the second overall and third place respectively. Superbella attained the position after overtaking Rental Car, which had been in third place overall for the previous two days.

The Middle East Championships (1st to 3rd of December 2023) and the Asia Pacific Championships (2nd to 4th February 2024) had also witnessed an impressive performance from talented sailors.

Racing on the final day of the SB20 World Championships at the Dubai Offshore Sailing ClubRacing on the final day of the SB20 World Championships at the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club Photo: Mikey Brignall

The fifth and final day of the SB20 World Championships saw the first race starting at 2:15 PM, and the wind was stable and consistent, ranging from 6 to 9 knots. Off to a turbulent start, the weather stabled out with admirable conditions, providing an ideal day for sailing.

Charlotte Borghesi, skipper of Team Kidzink, expressed her joy, saying, “It is still a bit amazingly surreal right now. We left it to the very last minute to make it stressful. You just see the tip of the iceberg, but we have been together as a team for two months, in training, working on the boat, on each other. We went out, we didn’t aim to win any race, we just wanted to do our best, in every race, and we did that. We never won a race. It just shows you, you never have to go out thinking to win.“

Race Director Alan Ruigrok, who hails from Skerries in County Dublin, said, “It’s been an absolute honour to host the SB20 world championships. Thank you to all participants, sponsors, and support staff who made this event possible. We’ve had a fantastic week here in Dubai, showcasing the amazing sailors across the world and their impeccable talent and dedication to teamwork, qualities that make our sport so admirable. We look forward to hosting more amazing events at the Dubai offshore sailing club.“

The next event for DOSC is the Dubai to Muscat Sailing Race, starting on the 24th February 2024.

Results below

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Kidzink, the women’s team from the UAE, continues to maintain its lead in the overall standings at the SB20 World Championships in Dubai. The team, skippered by Charlotte Borghesi, has been in fine form, putting up a strong performance in the competition so far.

The Championship, which had suffered a one-day delay to the start, successfully completed four races today, effectively putting the world championships back on schedule for a full series of races. With only five races remaining, the competition is heating up as sailors vie for the top spots in the standings.

The forty-eight teams have had to deal with incredibly volatile conditions, with Race 5 seeing the course shortened on the second lap due to the wind dropping out altogether. Races 7 and 8 marked a shift as the wind began to stabilise. Consistency and focus among the sailors became crucial factors in climbing up the leaderboard, highlighted by Desert Eagle's move from 5th overall to second place.

The competition has been intense, and the sailors have had to be at their best to stay in the running. As the championship enters its final stages, all eyes will be on the teams as they battle it out for the top spots in the standings and the chance to be crowned the SB20 World Champions.

SB20 World Championships Overall Results after eight races :
1st Kidzink ,Charlotte Borghesi, 24pts
2nd Desert Eagle, Hendrik Witzmann, 35pts
3rd Rental Car, Michael Buchanan, 41pts
4th Jeunes FFVoile 1, Garreta Ian, 43pts
5th SuperBella,Edoardo Martinelli, 47pts

Full results below

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Dubai witnessed a spectacular start to the SB20 World Championship as forty-eight teams, with over 12 nationalities, took to the water for four races. The highly anticipated event commenced with two general recalls due to unstable wind and significant shifts, but the race management team and mark layers persevered. 

The winners of the lead-up events, the SB20 Middle East Championships in late 2023 and the SB20 Asia Pacific Championships earlier this month were both competing.

By the fourth race, conditions had stabilised, offering the classic Dubai experience with 14-15 knots and ideal sailing conditions. Team Xcellent secured victory in Race 1, while the French youth team of Jeunes FF Voile 1 claimed Race 2. The Bulgarian team of Ivana and Alex clinched the win in Race 3, showcasing their potential as newcomers to the International SB20 circuit. Meanwhile, Desert Eagle emerged victorious in Race 4.

Currently, the women’s team from the UAE, Kidzink, is leading the standings, followed by the Singaporean Team Rental Car in second place. The French Youth team Jeunes FF Voile 1 holds the third place overall.

The women’s team from the UAE, Kidzink, skippered by Charlotte Borghesi is leading the standings Photo: Mikey Brignall The women’s team from the UAE, Kidzink, skippered by Charlotte Borghesi is leading the standings Photo: Mikey Brignall 

Charlotte Borghesi, Skipper of Kidzink, commented, “It's been a really tricky day—every weather condition, wind condition, every wind angle. So we just focused on working as a team, trying to stay ahead of what's happening. We simply sailed as best as we could.”

Overall Results after 4 races :
1st Kidzink ,Charlotte Borghesi,15pts
2nd Rental Car, Michael Buchanan, 20pts
3rd Jeunes FFVoile 1, Garreta Ian, 22pts
4th Skin in the Game, Edward Russo, 30pts
5th Desert Eagle, Hendrik Witzmann, 33pts

Full results below

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Today's start of  2024 SB20 World Championships at Dubai Offshore Sailing Club (DOSC) was postponed due to thunder and lightning storms.

The five-day event will see its first race on Tuesday, 13th February, at 11:00 am.

The Championships follow on from the Asia Pacific Championships on February 4, 2024, with Team Xcellent from the United Kingdom, helmed by John Pollard, emerging as the overall champions on the third and final day from a fleet of 38.

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The Dubai Offshore Sailing Club witnessed the grand finale of the SB20 Sailing Asia Pacific Championships on February 4, 2024.

Emerging as the overall champions on the third and final day from a fleet of 38 were Team Xcellent from the United Kingdom, helmed by John Pollard, securing their triumph.

Desert Eagle 2 and Kidzink closely followed in second and third place.

Day Three saw unexpected turns at every corner with much to be celebrated. In race seven of the 2024 Asia Pacific Championships, team Xcellent took the lead with the fastest speed of the day, maintaining 16.7 knots for 500 metres. Sitting at the second and third highest speeds, Rental Car from Singapore at 16.4 knots and Team Kesbeke, the first Corinthian team of the SB20 Championships at 16 knots.

Next up for the SB20s is the World Championships at the same venue from Feburary 11th.

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Day two of the Dubai Duty Free SB20 Asia Pacific Championships, hosted by the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club, saw turbulent winds ranging between 18 to 20 knots.

As regular Afloat readers know, despite every effort, Irish boats were thwarted in their bid to attend the event that precedes next week's World Championships.

On February 3 the event continued after a successful first day. As 33 teams embarked from the DOSC harbour, expectations were high for better wind conditions than the initial day.

Team Xcellent from the United Kingdom, helmed by John Pollard, took the lead position. Following closely are Desert Eagle and Kidzink in second and third place, wearing blue and red bibs.

The unmistakable backdrop of Dubai for the SB20 Asia Pacific ChampionshipsThe unmistakable backdrop of Dubai for the SB20 Asia Pacific Championships

Team Xcellent’s skipper, John Pollard, expressed his delight in winning the lead position, "It was a great day. I've sailed all over the world, and here at the SB20 Asia Pacific Championships, It was as good as anywhere. The sun and the wind, what more do we want? Big chop, wind shifts, and a fantastic backdrop add extra joy to this sport."

Addressing the weather conditions, Race Director Alan Ruigrok of Skerries in County Dublin commented, "We saw a consistent 18 to 20 knots held for today's three races and some excellent but full-on conditions for the sailors onboard. Credit to the race management team led by Roger Wilson for starting the race early, considering the weather conditions."

Alongside the thrilling races, families enjoyed the post sailing celebrations in the newly renovated Tentola Village - Activities included Henna art, face painting, a bouncy castle, as well as Six Nations Rugby viewing.

SB20 Asia Pacific Championship 2024 Day 2 Highlights below

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It’s only four weeks since the Irish team, due to race in the 2024 SB20 World Championships, packed up their boats and shipped to Dubai, but already they are back on Irish soil.

The three teams, Ger Dempsey, RIYC, Colin Galavan, RIYC and Tadgh Donnelly, NYC, were shocked to receive an email on 27th December informing them that the container ship their boats were on would not enter the Red Sea and therefore, could not make Dubai in time for the February championship.

The necessary re-routing around Cape Horn would mean the container and their boats would not arrive until the week of the 10th of February, right the in the middle of the event they had hoped to campaign.

The crews are now preparing to unload the container in DublinThe crews are now preparing to unload the boats in Dublin

At the time the boats were in Le Harve and the advice was to turn them around, with only 24 hours to make a decision the three teams concurred with the experts.

The crews are now preparing to unload the container this weekend in a cold, bleak Dublin, a stark contrast to the sunny experience they were anticipating in Dubai next month, however they remain philosophical despite the disappointment.

‘It’s hard to dwell on our misfortune in the context of why it has occurred’ said crew member Chris Nolan. ‘There will be other opportunities for us, and we are glad to have our boats back home safely.’

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On the third and final day of the 33-boat SB20 Middle East Championships at Dubai Offshore Sailing Club, Glasgow Kiss from Singapore, helmed by Nils Razmilovic, won the title of overall Champion. Following closely behind in second and third place are ActiTime and Little Mischief, respectively.

Day One witnessed three intense races between all 33 teams, with Glasgow Kiss taking the win. On day two, Glasgow Kiss maintained the lead position, with ActiTime and Little Mischief in second and third place, respectively. On Day Three, the weather conditions were favourable in comparison to the first two days, with the wind speed sitting at 8 knots, gusting 10.

Commenting on the achievement, Nils Razmilovic of Glasgow Kiss said, "We are delighted as achieving this title is a huge honour and a testament to our team's hard work."

Coming up next, Dubai Offshore Sailing Club will host the SB20 Asia Pacific Championships from 2nd to 4th February 2024, which will be the next opportunity for sailors to hone their skills and understanding of the local sailing conditions. And then, the Triple will culminate in the SB20 World Championships, which will take place from 11th to 16th February 2024, where sailors from around the globe will compete for that coveted title.

The 2023 Dubai Duty-Free SB20 Middle East Championships has been a testament to the spirit of skilful sailors, exemplifying the epitome of teamwork and resilience. Against a backdrop of diverse weather challenges, the competitors demonstrated exceptional proficiency and a collective passion for competitive sailing. This year's championship has brought together crowds of all ages, nationalities, and backgrounds in a celebration of the shared love for sailing. The dynamic mix of youth teams and international entries echoes the inclusive nature of sailing, reaffirming that it is a sport for everyone.

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Royal Cork Yacht Club's Mel Collins, Aidan MacSweeny and Harry Pritchard sailing GoldDigger beat the SB20 national champions for overall honours at Lough Derg Yacht Club Freshwater Keelboat One Design Regatta on Sunday. 

The Crosshaven trio lifted the trophy after finishing on the same four nett points as 2023 Irish champions Michael O'Connor, Davy Taylor, and Owen Laverty from the Royal St George, who discarded an expensive disqualification from the fourth race.

Four races were sailed on Saturday with one discard, but racing was abandoned on Sunday by Race Officer John Leech due to a lack of wind at Dromineer. 

Greystones Sailing Club trio Marty O'Leary, Rachel O'Leary and Conor Galligan finished third.

Ten SB20s competed.

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Michael O’Connor (RStGYC) and his crew mates Davy Taylor and Ben O’Donohoe won the Lough Ree Yacht Club hosted SB20 National Championships last weekend.

An eight-boat-strong local fleet also saw entries from RIYC, RCYC, NYC, RStGYC and HYC.

Six out of 10 races were completed on Saturday, the only day of racing under varying wind conditions (8 knots and building steadily to 14 knots) no racing on Friday or Sunday as conditions proved challenging with temperatures in the high 20’s but gusting barely 2 knots! Racing was postponed as with other events around the country suffering similar conditions.

Wind direction on Saturday was incredibly shifty but the race officer David Dickson and his support team, Alan Algeo, Oonagh Reid and Liz McGrath, took the situation in their stride as each race started in rapid succession. 

\SB20s converge on a mark at the National Championships on Lough ReeSB20s converge on a mark at the National Championships on Lough Ree

Racing was very exciting with lots of jostling for pole position, saw TED helmed by Michael O’Connor (RSGYC) and his crew mates Davy Taylor and Ben O’Donohoe winning Gold Fleet sailing consistently over the six races (10 points, same points as previous Northerns in April at LRYC) closely followed by Stefan Hyde (RIYC) and his team (Jerry and Jimmy Dowling) on Bad Kilcullen (15 points), in third place Carpe Diem (18 points) helmed by Colin Galavan (RIYC) and his team (Aran Jones and Kein O’Rourke), Silver fleet saw the local LRYC boat Sharkbait helmed by Mark Rafter and supported by Stan Bradbury and Rory Walsh winning top place closely followed in second place for Silver fleet Sea Biscuit helmed by Chris Helme and his crew (Barry Galvin and Niall O’Riordan). Third place in the Silver fleet was secured by James Delaney helming (Under 25 Squad in a sponsored boat for the event) Provident CRM, James and his team really demonstrated great sailing technique and a serious contender for future events.

Six out of 10 SB20 National Championship races were completed on Saturday, the only day of racing under varying wind conditions (8 knots and building steadily to 14 knots)Six out of 10 SB20 National Championship races were completed on Saturday, the only day of racing under varying wind conditions (8 knots and building steadily to 14 knots)

Overall results for the National Championship Event at LRYC saw TED outright winner and taking home the National Trophy; second place went to Bad Kilcullen Stefan Hyde Helm, with Jerry and Jimmy Dowling, Carpe Diem secured 3rd Place Helmed by Colm Galvin Carpe Diem and his team Aran and Kein.

2023 SB20 National Champions - TED helmed by Michael O’Connor (RSGYC) and his crew mates Davy Taylor and Ben O’Donohoe2023 SB20 National Champions - TED helmed by Michael O’Connor (RSGYC) and his crew mates Davy Taylor and Ben O’Donohoe

2023 SB20 National Championship runners-up -  Stefan Hyde (RIYC) and Jerry and Jimmy Dowling2023 SB20 National Championship runners-up -  Stefan Hyde (RIYC) and Jerry and Jimmy Dowling

Silver fleet pole position went to Mark Rafter, local man on Sharkbait, 2nd Sea Biscuit and 3rd Provident CRM (Under 25 Squad).

2023 SB20 National Championships Results at Lough Ree Yacht Club2023 SB20 National Championships Results at Lough Ree Yacht Club

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About the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is undoubtedly one of the greatest ocean adventures on the planet, also regarded as one of its toughest endurance challenges. Taking almost a year to complete, it consists of eleven teams competing against each other on the world’s largest matched fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts.

The Clipper Race was established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo, non-stop, around the world in 1968-69. His aim was to allow anyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to embrace the thrill of ocean racing; it is the only event of its kind for amateur sailors. Around 40 per cent of crew are novices and have never sailed before starting a comprehensive training programme ahead of their adventure.

This unique challenge brings together everyone from chief executives to train drivers, nurses and firefighters, farmers, airline pilots and students, from age 18 upwards, to take on Mother Nature’s toughest and most remote conditions. There is no upper age limit, the oldest competitor to date is 76.

Now in its twelfth edition, the Clipper 2019-20 Race started from London, UK, on 02 September 2019.