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#kinsale – The newly revamped Kinsale Yacht Club welcomes the SB20 fleet this coming weekend for their first ever championship event at the South Coast harbour. The new clubhouse opened its doors on the June bank holiday weekend but the SB20 fleet is the first championship event to be hosted there.

PRO Tony Ireson and his team are expecting up to 25 entries for the event and competition is expected to be tight as ever. 6 boats from around Cork Harbour have been doing a lot of local one-design racing and as ever the Cork crews are expected to offer some stiff competition. 5 boats are travelling from the combined Northern Ireland clubs. Past winners Peter Kennedy and Stephen Kane on Ridgefence are good in the light airs and will be ones to watch. Darren Martin from Strangford Lough is proving to be a force to be reckoned and with his light crew could do very well. Defending champion Ben Duncan and his team on Sharkbait will have their work cut out for them especially as conditions are forecast to be light.

For the first time at their regional events, this year the Irish SB20 class are rigidly enforcing the 270 Kilo weight restriction so it will be interesting to see how many of the crews will be stripping down to their underwear at registration. In international fleets, the SB20's are sailed to within a half kilogram of the weight restriction. Some of the top European crews opt for 4 crew members however the Irish crews tend to forfeit weight for added downwind advantage. This weekend will tell which theory is right. The world championships are due to take place in Hyeres in September where weight may be an advantage. Up to 10 Irish boats are expected to make the journey.

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#dbsc – The second event of the SB20 Grand Slam circuit took place between 24th and 26th May at the beautiful location of Malcesine, Lake Garda. This small town is approx 5km south of the better known sailing centres of Torbole and Riva, but has excellent facilities. Malcesine is a lovely historical waterside town and enjoys the same stunning views and weather conditions; an absolute "top spot" for the SB20 Class.

25 competitors from the UK, Russia, France and Germany joined the Italian fleet for 3 days of racing. Europe has not enjoyed the best of starts to its summer season, and while we rigged up in warm sunshine, the forecast was not looking promising for the classic sunny and windy conditions that we have all enjoyed at Garda over the years. The evening before racing began delivered a huge thunderstorm accompanied by an impressive lightening show which illuminated the fabulous mountains!

The rain had cleared by morning, but it had been snowing on the top of the mountains surrounding the lake; it was a great sight! The fleet launched in a windy, cold northerly breeze of 22kts. The pressure steadily decreased through the day to 8 knots by the end of the third race. John Pollard set the tone with consistent starts, and very solid decision making to record a 2,1,2 despite throwing away an impressive lead in race 1 by missing out the last mark and crossing the finish line to silence. Pollard realised his error and returned to the leeward mark to finish correctly. Alexey Murashkin's M Team, the winners of the SB20 Grand Slam in Hyeres gratefully took the first race, and Jerry Hill's took race 3.

The fleet enjoyed a complimentary dinner at the Speck Stube restaurant, excellent BBQ'd chicken pork and ribs which coupled with a few glasses of the local wine was much appreciated.

Day 2 was sunnier and lighter but still cool as the southerly Ora breeze fought to establish itself. After a short delay 3 more races were held and again Pollard's team put in a strong performance, winning the first 2 races and taking the shortened 3rd race where in a declining breeze Hill's team and Nicolo Bianchi's Coldline team in a comfortable 1,2 only 100 yards from the finish fell into a hole and watched a large group of boats sail past.

The final day saw warm weather and classic "Lake Garda" conditions; smiles all  round as the fleet sailed 3 races in warm sunshine and 15-20 kts of breeze. Pollard's team had a healthy lead and sailed conservatively to wrap up the series with a race to spare. Bianchi and Hill's teams were the consistent performers of the day notching up 4,2,1 and 5,1,2 respectively, the other race winner being Luca Domenici, the local Melges 20 star.

The fleet will regroup for the third and final event of the SB20 Grand Slam circuit 2013 at Cowes, UK for the first 4 days of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. Windward leewards will be replaced by 2 round the cans courses per day with all the tidal and wind vagaries the Solent can throw at you! The fleet will all be based at UKSA and we have a lively social program in store; it promises to be a great event.

1. John Pollard, Xcelent 15pts
2. Pietro Negri, Coldline Racing 23pts
3. Alexey Murashkin, M Team, 35 pts
4. Luca Domenici, Notaro Team, 52 pts
5. Jerry Hill,, 55pts

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Four races, Four potential winners. That's how it played out today on Lough Ree for the SB20 Westerns at LRYC. Ful results downloadable below as a jpeg file.

No racing on Saturday meant PRO Richard Kissane and team had to get 4 races completed on Sunday to make a series, which they managed to do expertly. Conditions were blustery on the lakes with gusts up to 25 knots.

Mel and Killian Collins on "who's the Boss" set an early marker by winning race 1 but it was down to the final split at the leeward gate that decided it, Collins opting for the right hand mark and Ben Duncan opting to go left. It was the sprint to the finish that decided the race in favour of Collins with Duncan second.

Race 2 was won by Peter Kennedy and team on "Ridgefence" who gambled with an early gybe to go down the middle of the course, a move that was in itself a gamble as he split from the fleet into a zone that hadn't yet favoured. 3 boats finishing within 5 seconds of each other with Collins second and Duncan third.

Race 3 had 4 boats OCS, only Mel Collins returned to recross and eventual race winner Sharkbait didn't get a hooter to give John O'Driscoll on "Boomchickawahwah" the win, Ridgefence second and Dingy Supplies third. Speeds up to 16 knots in the gusts made for exciting downwind action across the fleet.

Incredibly that left 4 boats going into the final race with a chance of winning the event. Collins, Duncan, Kennedy & O'Driscoll each with a fighting chance of lifting the Rose Bowl. However it was John O'Driscoll and team who led the course by 15 boat lengths with Duncan and then Collins chasing. Sharkbait with Commodore's Cup winner Eoghan Leahy of Antix onboard, somehow managed to not only cling on but reel in Boomchickawahwah to neck and neck at the final hoist. Duncan just had to keep his bow just inside O'Driscoll's leeward quarter and deny him a free gybe to the final gate. Duncan put in a clean gybe on a gust and took the necessary lead to give him the final race and the event. This is the fourth time In a row Sharkbait has won this event.

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The first SB20 class Grand Slam event of the season was held this weekend in Hyeres, France. 3 days of racing were scheduled between 3rd and 5th May. A quality fleet representing 7 nations arrived to warm sunny 22 degrees - a welcome change for sailors from our rather cool Spring in the UK.

Day one was sailed in a building sea breeze that increased from 12 knots at the start of race one to 22 knots at the end of race four. The first 3 races were dominated by John Pollard's "Xcellent" team from Royal Torbay Yacht Club, starting well, crossing the fleet and heading hard right. Pollard's team had the speed and strategy to stay ahead. SB20 Class President Ed Russo sailing for France and the new Russian team of Kirill Frolov, were also fairing well in brand new Sportsboat World boats. By the 4th race the breeze had built and the fleet were enjoying fast downwind planing conditions. Pollard again led to the windward mark, however gybe sets from Helena Lucas, Jean-Baptiste Bernaz and Jerry Hill took them into the top 3 places at the bottom mark with Hill finally getting through to first place by the end of the race.

Saturday was a bit hazier and lighter and it looked clear that the sea breeze was unlikely to settle. Instead after a short delay the Race Officer managed to get in 3 races in 5 knots of patchy shifty breeze. The Brits of Pollard and Hill struggled to find the best way up the first beats in all 3 races, however Kirill/Frolov and Russo clearly had a much better handle on the conditions, Kirill winning the first two races and Russo scoring a top three in each race.

With no racing on Sunday, as the breeze was even more unsteady and rarely reaching 3 knots the fleet headed back into port with the Russian team of Kirril/Frolov helmed by Alexey Murashkin winning on countback from Ed Russo, John Pollard was left in 3rd place.

The Russian team were popular winners and this win bodes well for a packed season for this new team. Helena Lucas in her first event picked up the Clarins sponsored prize for first Lady helm/crew team finishing in 5th place, and Michel Boussard's team from Monaco picked up the Masters prize.

With some lively evenings in Bar Sax, the fleet had a really enjoyable event. Many of the competitors now will move on to the next Grand Slam at Malcesine on Lake Garda where 40 boats are expected to compete at the end of May.

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#sb20 – What a difference a day makes.  Lying 8th overall coming into day 2 of the SB20 Easterns at Howth Yacht Club, Aidan O'Connell and team on Ruby Blue from the Royal St George YC set the marker today in the waters off Howth to take the title off Ben Duncan's Sharkbait by a two point margin.  Duncan only managed to score a 10th, 5th and an 8th today whilst O'Connell gave a master class in consistency scoring a race win and two 4th places.  O'Connell's remarkable comeback started in the first race with a bullet and a considerable distance over the fleet whilst in race 2 & 3 Aidan hung in with enough points in the bag to allow him discard his 16th from day 1.

A full set of SB20 East Coast Championships results are available to download below as an Xcel file.

Winds were from the west and blustery all day giving the crews some testing shifts to contend with.  In race 1 with 60 seconds to go before the start,  PRO Harry Gallagher wisely decided to fly the AP rather than allow a 30 degree shift interrupt the proceedings.  The consistent shift seemed to stay in the right and Harry and his team reset the course accordingly.    Boats were pressed on the beat but revelled in the brisk downwind legs with speeds up to 13 knots in the moderate conditions.

Third place goes to John O'Driscoll also from the Royal St George YC on-board Boomchicawahwah who sailed equally consistently for the weekend.   John and his team scored a 3.0 and 5.0 discarding his 11th today.  Third place was tied for points with Kieran Dorgan from Cobh Sailing Club but as O'Driscoll had scored a race win on day 1 he took the final podium place.

Daragh Sheridan on Dingy Supplies finished the day with a sparkling race win in race 3.  Any of the lead boats who got enough of a chance extended their leads and Dingy Supplies did this in style.  Dingy Supplies kindly sponsored some spot prizes for the fleet also.

In the Silver fleet, overnight leader Gillian Guinness was pipped to the post by Davy Taylor's



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#sb20 – 24 entries made the start line this morning for day 1 of the SB20 Eastern Championships at Howth Yacht Club.  With a cold North Easterly promising to die off by mid-afternoon,  PRO Harry Gallagher and his team got the show on the road right on time and sent the fleet away cleanly.  Defending his title Ben Duncan on Sharkbait set to it right away with a race 1 win but not before a bit of upwind duelling with Cork sailor Mel Collins each trying to throw the other to the wrong side of the race course.  Duncan was able to break tacks and came out on top leaving the Collins family with a 2nd in race 1.

With an ever decreasing wind and a strong south going tide, Race 2 got underway with a 50/50 split in the fleet upwind on each side of the course.  With the wind planning to clock right, strangely it was the left handers who made it to the top first.  Scott MacKeown with Nicholas O'Leary on board showing a clean pair of heels but chased closely by Royal Irish YC man John O'Driscoll on Boomchickawahwah.  It was a bottom end split at the final rounding that decided race 2 with McKeown opting for right and O'Driscoll opting for left.  It was O'Driscoll who got the bullet but only by a nose.

Race 3 went to a black flag after two general recalls in ever decreasing wind which had now gone to full easterly and further dying.  A large bunch-up at the first weather mark allowed Ger Dempsey and Chris Nolan on slip in before the gaggle and pull some distance on the fleet. were never really threatened after that and went on to score their first Championship race win.

Variety was the order of the day with Sharkbait, BoomChickawahwah and each getting home first.   However it was a lesson in pure consistency that has Darren martin onboard "The Sloth" with a 5.0 5.0 and 2.0 to score 12 points overall behind Duncan's 8 point first place overnight.

Mel Collins, Kieran Dorgan and Gareth Flannigan (filling in for Peter Kennedy) each have some work to do tomorrow.

In the Bronze fleet, local class captain Gillian Guinness who scored a 4th in race 1 is 4 points ahead of HYC sailor Paul McMahon with James Gorman in 3rd.

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#SB20 – Up to 25 entries are expected tomorrow for the season opener for the SB20 class circuit.

Following a very successful three weekend Key Capital Partners Spring Warmer in Howth, the fleet will gather in Lambay Sound to decide the 2013 East Coast Championship.

Defending their title, Sharkbait (Duncan / Moran) will be tested by the usual suspects on Ridgefence (Kennedy / Kane) but a new formidable teaming of the Collins family from RCYC (Mel & Killian including Killian's wife Mary) will be out to prove their potential.

Welcomed back to the fleet after a two year layoff is Kieran Dorgan on his new boat 'The Beard' also anxious to the 2013 Sharkbait dominance to the test. In total 5 entries travel from Cork Harbour which seems to indicate a renewed desire for the boats in the southern area.

Clubs represented in the fleet show the national interest in the one-design racing fleet with entries from the combined Dun Laoghaire fleets, HYC, RCYC, ISA, KYC, Royal Ulster YC, Royal North of Ireland YC & Carrickfergus SC.

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#sb20 – The 2014 SB20 World Championships have been awarded to Yacht Club Hercules in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Championships will run from 5th to 11th September.

The Russian SB20 fleet has seen significant growth since 2009 and the Russian teams are highly competitive on the international circuit. Oleg Zherebtsov, Chairman of the SB20 class in Russia won the 2012 SB20 European Championship in Medemblik and was placed 3rd (on equal points to the Champion) at the recent 2012 UON SB20 World Championships in Hamilton Island, Australia. Oleg has been the driving force behind the growth of the SB20 Class in Russia, and was delighted that the 2014 World Championships will take place in St. Petersburg. Today there are 23 boats in Russia and there is strong growth forecast for the coming years.

The Yacht Club Hercules organised the finish of the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race and has experience in hosting European championships. Hercules boasts a highly qualified technical staff and secretariat. Further news and developments about Hercules can be followed on their website: .

The SB20 Class received four high quality bids from yacht clubs in sailing hot spots around the world to host the 2014 World Championships. "It's been a difficult task separating these bids from each other," explained Ed Russo, SB20 World Council President, "And we are extremely appreciative of the effort and interest from these competing Clubs."

Ahead of the 2014 World Championships in St. Petersburg, the SB20 Fleet will contest their 2013 World Championships in Hyeres, France from September 7th to the 13th where a fleet of over 100 SB20 boats is expected.

The SB20 class provides low cost, high intensity, big fleet racing and attracts some of the most recognisable names in sailing today.

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The Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) SB20 sportsboat fleet get together for a beer and a catch up in the Royal Irish YC at 8pm this Friday. The bay class, the biggest in the country with up to 20 boats, has its annual dinner on Friday 1 March 2013 at the Royal St. George YC and no doubt both functions will be opportunities to discuss both the local DBSC calendar and the national fixture list both of which were published this week.

One other topic up for discussion with DBSC SB20 captain Doug Smith over the winter has been the the possibility of the Dragon class joining in the SB20 Sunday sailing. Up to ten Dragons have indicated they would switch to Sunday from traditional Saturday racing. It is something of a compliment to the SB20 DBSC format and the windward/leward courses. Perhaps other classes, such as the Flying Fifteens and Squibs, might consider the same too if separate starts could be given?

(Proposed) DBSC SB20 Sunday Series in 2013

May – Sunday 5th, 19th & 26th

June – Sunday 23rd & 30th

July – Sunday 7th & 21st

August – Sunday 4th, 18th & 25th


SB20 2013 Irish Calendar

Spring Warmer Howth Y.C. April 6/13/20

Easterns Howth Y.C. April 27/28th

Westerns Lough Ree May 11/12th

Southerns (Kinsale) June 08/09th

Dun Laoghaire week July 11/14th

Nationals Galway July 26/28th

Northerns Aug 10/11th Royal Ulster

Worlds France Sept. 7th – 13 th

Midlands Lough Derg Oct 19/20th

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#sb20 – Three British teams were in the top three of the SB20 Worlds at Hamilton Island with three boats tied for first place.

It was a gripping finish on the deciding day at the UON SB20 World Championships at Hamilton Island with Geoff Carveth sailing into the class history books, crowned SB20 world champion for the third time.

It was the closest finish at any SB20 worlds with Carveth's British WKD team, Glenn Bourke's Australian entry, Club Marine, and Rodion Luka's Team Russia all wrapping up their series tied on 41 points after six days and 12 races. A countback was needed to separate the ultimate victor from second and third.

"Going into race two today we decided to take a risk. We gambled for a better ranking and took the right hand side of the course," said Carveth this afternoon. "It's the only time, during the whole event that the right hand side paid off. Glenn and Rodion went left and suddenly the chance came.  When we finished we were in disbelief that we'd put the number of boats between us.

"The crew have worked really hard. We trained hard here just days before the event started. Lesley and Squirrel really got up to speed and Roger has been fantastic. He's broken his run of seconds at SB20 world championships!"

WKD's South African bowman, Asenathi Jim, leapt off the boat once the result was known while the crew of Roger Hudson, Lesley Dhonau and Carveth embraced, then fell in, joining Jim for a victory swim.

"We've got to say a huge thank you to WKD and Joe Woods for making it possible for us to be here," Carveth added.

Hamilton Island CEO Glenn Bourke almost added another world title to his belt. "I have the utmost respect for the two guys we tied with," said Bourke. "It's testament to Geoff's talent and their crew work that they kept working their way out of deep positions, particularly in the last six races".

Team Russia's helmsman Rodion Luka was gracious in defeat, "Geoff is a great mate and I am happy that he won. We'll be back for another event and we look forward to that. Hamilton Island is beautiful and a great place to sail. The competition has been so tight, it's not often you have three boats tied on points at a world championship".

Winds were easterly and shifty for the final day of competition at 7-9 knots for the first race and up to 14 knots for the decider.  Denis Thompson pulled his black flag out again in race 11 after three general recalls due to wind shifts and antsy crews. On the fourth attempt the fleet got away cleanly. Three SB20s were pinged and individually recalled in the final race 12.

A countback separated first and second, Team Russia and Club Marine, with WKD, a mere three points off the frontrunners heading into today's final two sprints. The tension on the dock this morning was palpable with a world title riding on the final act for the three contenders, and points still to be claimed for those with their sights on the minor placings.

Competition at the UON SB20 World Championships began last Friday in light to moderate ESE breezes and after Monday's layday, midway through the competition, fresher ENE winds made for a very different set of conditions and a change in gears for the one design fleet of 42 international entries representing nine countries.

"I'm very pleased for Hamilton Island that we've had a range of conditions and such depth of talent for this truly international competition," said Bourke.

"I think the island put on a great regatta and the race management was outstanding. I feel Hamilton Island has come of age in terms of running world class sailing events."

Bourke also took the opportunity to acknowledge a number of valuable event partners. "I would like to acknowledge UON not only for their naming rights, but for entering two boats and being an active part of these world titles.

"Events Queensland gave us tremendous support to run a truly international event by assisting with shipping the SB20s to the island, which in turn attracted many overseas competitors and their families to the Whitsundays."

Bourke also thanked the SB20 World Council for its decision to grant Hamilton Island the event rights, and for their ongoing cooperation and assistance.

The SB20 class will hold their 2013 World Championship in Hyeres in the south of France next September.

Results at

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Page 20 of 23

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.


The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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