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#sb20 – Sportsboat World promoters of the SB20 one design sportsboat announced the launch of a SB20 Grand Slam circuit that will take place in Europe in 2013. The SB20 Grand Slam will consist of three events that have been scheduled to take place at three favourite SB20 sailing locations giving Irish crews an extra travel incentive in 2013.

The SB20 Grand Slam will kick off in Hyeres at the beginning of May (3rd – 5th) with three days racing before heading to Malcesine, Lake Garda for the second Grand Slam event (24th – 26th May). The third SB20 Grand Slam will take place at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week (3rd – 6th August), where a special race format has been agreed with the organisers.

The SB20 Grand Slam events are aimed at those in the class that enjoy sailing in beautiful places and enjoy a lively social scene; which will be set up to support each of the Grand Slam events. Each SB20 Grand Slam will have a winner in its own right and while sailors will be encouraged to take part in as many events as possible, there will not be an overall Grand Slam Champion.

"One of our missions when we formed Sportsboat World was to provide events that would appeal to sailors internationally; in top locations with great socials" explains Alan Hillman. "The SB20 Grand Slam will do just that and we're really looking forward to kicking these events off in 2013."

Published in SB20
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#SB20 – A remarkable season for the 'Sharkbait' crew of Ben Duncan, Brian Moran and Joe Turner has seen them dominate the top of the SB20 Ireland Sportsboat ranking ladder. Full ranking ladder available to download below as an Excel file. The Dublin trio had wins in all but one event in 2012 and topping the table at a maximum available 165 points, the first year that this has been achieved. The high quality of the fleet in Ireland made it no easy task however, and the team was consistently under pressure throughout the season from some exceptional sailors, with Mel Collins, Scott MacKeown and Aidan MacSweeny in 'Magic' finishing the season with a very solid second on the ladder, just edging out class stalwarts Peter Kennedy & Stevie Kane sailing 'Ridgefence' in third.

Only just missing out on the ranking-list chocolates (by half a point) was Aidan O'Connell on 'Ruby Blue', however with a win in the very last race of the season at Lough Derg he has bragging rights on the fleet over the Winter! Davy Taylor helming 'Boatmec' was a consistent performer and will likely have his machine well-greased for next years events. SB20 season newbies Ger Dempsy & Chris Nolan on 'Venuesworld.com' were also often found in the mix at the head of the fleet, whilst Darragh Sheridan, Shane Murphy and John Phelan sailing 'Dinghysupplies.ie' also missed a couple of events costing them places on the ladder, but still rounding out the season on the eighth rung. Darren Martin sailing 'Soda Bread' from the North (would it not get soggy?) and Rob Howe on board 'Milvus Milvus' rounded out the top ten in a 47 boat ladder for 2012, with many other familiar names not far adrift on points. (NB: The ranking list is calculated from the best 4 of the 5 regional events in any year, and always includes the Nationals at a 1.5x weighting, with points awarded for the first 30 boats in any event.)

Unlike many other classes, the SB20 has only had a slight decline in numbers over the last few years due to the relatively cheap cost of running a boat at a highly competitive level. A resurgence in the Southern fleet is envisaged next year when several new boats from Cork will be on the water, and much interest in the class has been from owners looking to downsize from cruiser sailing. Competitive second hand yachts with all the trimmings can be bought from around €9000, and when towed behind an average car getting to the fantastic SB20Ireland regional events couldn't be easier! The strict one-design ethos of the class ensures very close racing across the country, and it is up to the crew work of the teams to edge out any gains in performance...

Published in SB20
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#SB20 – With a month until the SB20 World Championships entries close there are no Irish takers for the Anitpodean event so far.

Today marks one month to the close of paperwork for this year's UON SB20 World Championships when an extraordinary line up of Olympians and sailing world title holders in the SB20 and other classes will rendezvous at Hamilton Island in the Northern Territories, Australia.

The 2012 Championships will be the first time the class has held its world title in the southern hemisphere. Up to 45 SB20s are expected on the start line for the Whitsunday battle to be staged from December 12th – 20th.

SB20 World Council President Edward Russo says, 'There are few opportunities like this in one's lifetime; in the deepest part of a cold and rainy winter in Europe to head to Hamilton Island, Australia, for 10 days of the highest level of one-design competition available in average winds of 15 knots plus and temperatures of over 25°'.

Australia's own London Games 470 gold medallist, Malcolm Page, will be on the mainsheet for Ian Brown's entry, One Design Sailing. Brown's no slouch either; his credentials include Olympic 470 bronze medallist and Olympic coach, Moth world champion and top four in the world in numerous classes.

Brown mentored a young Malcolm Page and 30 years later the pair has reunited to continue their SB20 alliance. Their for'ard hand is 22 year-old university student, Klade Hauschildt, who has trained with Olympic super coach Victor Kovalenko and his 470 squad but is now focusing on Lasers. Sabot and Flying 11 sensation, 14 year-old Finn Gilbert, will rejoin Brown's crew assisting the bowman and wherever else his nimble hands are needed.

Brown came across Finn Gilbert by chance on the beach at Clontarf, Sydney, while searching for his missing car keys. Finn and his father Lachlan were returning from an outing on the family's Mirror dinghy and struck up a conversation after the youngster located Brown's keys. Due to his size, weight and sailing nous Finn was handpicked for Brown's SB20 campaign, and has become a successful dinghy sailor in his own right.

The One Design Sailing team began training out of Manly Yacht Club in September; Page sneaking time out from his busy Australian Farr 40 program and even busier public speaking and other post-Olympic official duties.

To fit in with Finn's high school timetable, three training sessions a week are slotted in before and after school. For the final run in to the worlds, the opportunity for match practice will come from competing in a number of Melbourne SB20 regattas.

Page cites the UK as the country to beat at the world championship and Glenn Bourke as Australia's standout chance. As for the likelihood of Brown & Co. picking up a trophy Page says, 'We have the potential, just not the time. We'll go and have fun'.

Hamilton Island is fast becoming the preferred Australian destination for hosting major warm water sailing events, including sports boats titles and the preeminent keelboat regatta, Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. Come December a multinational fleet will take to the course area, likely to be east of the award winning destination. Ashore families and supporters travelling with the competitors will be enjoying the many pools, restaurants, shops, wildlife zoo and other facilities on offer.

To date the countries represented on the starters list include Italy, United Arab Emirates, France, The Netherlands, Russia and the UK.

One of the most anticipated entries is coming from a crew of Perth based indigenous school girls whose inaugural SB20 campaign is being sponsored by the 2012 world championship naming rights sponsor, UON, supplier of power generation, air compressors and water pumping solutions to industry.

Entries close December 1. Meanwhile the Irish class has published a list of its 2013 SB20 fixtures.

Published in SB20
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As out going Chairman of SB20 Ireland it gives me great pleasure to be handing over to the very experienced Justin Burke.

Being part of an emerging class was a very exciting prospect when I took over three years ago.

The SB20 class has had a number of challenges, changing its name from SB3 to Sb20. A new regime of Sportsboat World has recently taken over the franchise.

One of the main reasons for the success of the SB20 has being the number high quality sailors who compete in the class.

The class has maintained very strong numbers and there is very good value to be had in the second hand market.

With a very strong Dublin Bay fleet of 28 boats and good numbers Nationwide bringing the total to in excess of 60 boats, second largest fleet after the UK. The strength of the fleet has being enhanced by having an exciting calendar year on year, point in case is 2013 with Galway hosting the Nationals for the first time.

A real testament to racing around Ireland is the very warm welcome the fleet receives from all the host clubs, and especially its members who volunteer their time to ensure we the competitors have the superb time on the water.

Having the Worlds in 2008 hosted by the National YC with over 140 boats, the class has fleets in Australia, Belgium,Germany,France,Italy, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Holland & the UK.

This years worlds are this December in Hamilton Island Australia.

In 2013 the Worlds return to Europe and will be held in September in Hyeres in the South of France. This promises to be very well attended regatta as many boats will make a family holiday out of the trip.

As the season ends and we pack our boats away for the winter, we can contemplate a wonderful season ahead in 2013, see below.

Jerry Dowling

Chairman SB20 Ireland ( outgoing)

Calendar 2013

Spring Warmer HYC - April 6/13/20

Followed by the Easterns

Easterns Howth Y.C. - April 27/28th

Westerns L.Ree - May 11/12th (or18/19)

Southerns (Kinsale) - June 08/09th

DunLaoghaire week - July 11/14th

Nationals Galway - July 26/28th

Northerns - Aug 10/11th

Carrickfergus or Royal Ulster

Worlds France - Sept.7th – 13 th

Midlands L.Derg - Oct 19/20th

Published in Laser
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#loughderg  – Beautiful Autumn sunshine greeted the combined fleets of Dragons, SB20's, Squibs and J80's as they started the final day of the Lough Derg Yacht Club Freshwater Keelboat regatta. Not a ripple stirred Lough Derg as the fleet left the dock but the forecast South Easterly 10-20 knots soon made its appearance for race 1.

In the Dragon Class, Martin Byrne from RSGYC crewed by Anthony Shanks and James Espey stormed to a decisive victory counting five 1sts and two 3rds to win by a 12 point margin over RSGYC stablemates Gerry Treacy, Paul McGuire and Don O'Dowd. Byrne didn't have to race the final race in the series and left it up to the pack to decide second overall.

The SB20 class clearly enjoyed the fresh and gusty conditions on the trapezoid course today. It was neck and neck between rivals Ben Duncan and Peter Kennedy going into the final races but it was Duncan who scored a 1,3 today over Kennedy's 6,2 to win the midlands title for the first time in its 6 year history. Kennedy who has won this event for the past three years running had to contend himself with second. Third place had to be fought over today by Aidan O'Connell and James Gorman but the Black Flag that Aidan received for being over early in race 1, upset his chances and James took his podium result by a single point lead over Aidan in the end. O'Connell did manage to finish on a high by winning the final race of the series.

In the 2012 SB20 circuit Duncan has all but shown a clean set of results having only lost 1 event this year.

The squibs also shared the Windward/Leeward course today with the Dragons. No results were available last night due to protests but it was James Matthews from Kinsale who scored 3,1,3,1,3 to win over Jonathan Craig's very solid 1,4,2,4,2 Only two points separated the leaders in the end.

The J80's were given a lesson in consistency this weekend by Andrew Deacon who's lead was never in doubt. Scoring 1,1,1,1,1 and discarding a first to win by an 11 point margin over second place Hetty Sanders (5,4,3,2,2). Next on the podium was team "Cougars" helmed by Sue Smithwick and crewed by Adair Leech, Mary Hughes and Alison Smithwick who scored 4,5,2,3,2.

Dinner in the yacht club last night followed by a charity night in the Whiskey Still where Johnny Logan made a guest appearance, keeping the crews entertained.

PRO Claire Toohey and her team did a great job this weekend running the side by side courses. Lough Derg Yacht Club are past masters at this type of event and the combined classes look forward to keeping this an established part of their calendars.

Published in Racing
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#loughderg – This weekend sees the gathering of the biggest of the keelboat one design fleets in Lough Derg for the annual freshwater keelboat regatta. For what is fast becoming a popular feature in the trailer sailor one design classes, Lough Derg Yacht Club is hosting a one design weekend for the Dragons, SB20's, Squibs and J80's.

The classes share the same race area but split between windward/leeward and trapezoid courses with a common start line.

The dragons assembled early on Friday with 2 races sailed and with a further 4 races today out of a 8 race series. Martin Byrne from the Royal St. George YC is clear ahead by the end of racing with a massive 11 point lead over RIYC rival Richard Goodbody. Martin counts 5 race wins in the 6 races sailed.

In the SB20 class 4 races sailed leaves the two front runners on tied points overnight with two first places and a second each for Ben Duncan and Peter Kennedy (RNIYC) each discarding a 10+ point race for 4 points nett, this being a somewhat familiar result between these two top boats. Further back James Gorman and Aidan O'Connell battle it out for 3rd but the Lough has proven a formidable challenge for all crews with the shifting and gusting southerly breeze. Who will emerge as overall leader is very much yet to be decided.

In the J80s Andrew Deacon is having it all his own way with 3 first places but discarding a Joint first (1.5). He is leading overall by 3.5 points to nearest rival Hetty Sanders with a 1.5,2,3.

At the time of writing the squibs overall was dependent on the outcome of a protest so were not available.

A beautiful October sunny day on Lough Derg, some more trying and difficult conditions tomorrow in the heartland of Ireland.

Published in Racing
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#sb20– The battle finally ended yesterday evening on Belfast Lough to decide the Irish national championships for the SB20 Sportsboat class. Gold and Silver fleet results are available for download below. The margin being only 2 points between the front runners Ben Duncan and Mel Collins, it was Collins who had to mount the attack and Duncan to defend his slim advantage. Only one race was sailed and Royal Ulster YC race officer Robin Gray and his team got the slimmest window possible for a decider and sent the fleet off in 5 knots of breeze.

Ben Duncan and crew got the slight advantage at the start with Collins not quite getting the same boat speed off the line. Duncan rounded the weather mark in 3rd with Mel Collins and crew rounding in 10th. However Collins made a remarkable comeback to place 4th in the final race but it was Duncan who pulled off another race win to make it a 3,1,1,1,1 to Collins 2,2,2,2,4.

collinssb20

Second placed Mel Collins from Royal Cork at full speed

So Ben Duncan, Brian Moran and Joe Turner reign supreme in the class with an incredible second nationals title in a row. Adding that to his Scottish nationals title along with a practically clean sheet at all the regional events makes it his best season yet.

Third was Andrew and Ross Vaughan (4 5 4 5 1), 4th was class Chair Jerry Dowling helmed by Stefan Hyde (3 4 8 4 6) and 5th was Ger Dempsey and Chris Nolan staging a very impressive first season appearance in the class.

Published in SB20

#sb20 – Trench warfare is best used to describe the fight going on at the front of the SB20 Sportsboat fleet for Day 2 of the nationals on Belfast Lough. There is no letup whatsoever between Mel Collins and Ben Duncan battling it out for first place. Duncan with Brian Moran and Joe Turner aboard leading at the end of the day by a slim 2 point difference to Royal Cork Yacht Clubs Mel Collins, Aidan MacSweeney and Kieran Dorgan. Duncan came out of the blocks to win race 1 with Collins 2nd. Collins squeezing a narrow margin in race two over Duncan to score a extremely consistent 2nd to Duncan's 3rd. With discards now applied Duncan's score is 1,1,1,3 and Collins 2,2,2,2. All to play for.

Local boat Ross & Andrew Vaughan with John Driscoll winning race 2 to keep them well within the hunt for a podium finish. Some fine performances from class newcomers Ger Dempsey and Chris Nolan on venues-world.com will see the Westerns silver fleet winners vying for a top 5 result.

Winds on the lough increased to 30 knots gradually over the day forcing Race Officials to abandon racing for race 3 but not before some thrilling downwind action with boats reporting 20 knots speeds to the leeward mark.

Racing continues Sunday with 2 races scheduled.

Published in SB20
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#sb20– Heavy rain and bad visibility greeted the SB20 fleet yesterday in Belfast Lough for day 1 of the Class Nationals. Wind from the south coming off the Ballyholme shore made for gusty and shifty racing for the fleet. Strangford Lough based former Flying fifteen champion Darren Martin started the series with a very impressive first place in race 1 in this highly competitive fleet. Local heroes Andrew & Ross Vaughan also consistently in the top 5 with a 4,5,4 showing the advantage of local knowledge.

However it was Ben Duncan again who showed a master class in one design racing with a 6,1,1 leading overnight by 4 points to Mel Collins (8,2,2). These leading two boats as expected battling it out at the front for race leader, each boat gaining and losing the advantage several times. On the final race, Collins only losing it out to Duncan on the final sprint to the finish as each boat split for different sides of the gate.

More to come today on Belfast lough where inclusion in the top 10 in this class is a hard fought thing.

1st - NZL 3287 -Duncan

2nd - IRL 3198 - Collins

3rd - IRL 3501- Martin

4th - IRL3298 - Vaughan

Published in SB20
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#sb20 – Hosted this year by Royal Ulster Yacht Club this weekend's SB20 nationals in Belfast Lough, will feature up to 30 boats

Based at Bangor Marina, the eight race series will kick off on Friday lunchtime in what is looking likely to be a light airs and typically fickle Belfast lough event.

Fresh from his Squib National championship win, Aidan O'Connell on Ruby Blue will be keen to serve up back to back championship wins and is tipped as a hot contender for the title, however he does have to overcome the ever consistent Ben Duncan to achieve this. Based on recent form and speed, Aidan and his team will certainly be tipped for a podium finish.

Duncan however is coming off the back of a typically successful season having scored a Scottish National title, an SB20 Easterns, Westerns and Southerns title. His foray into the Dublin Bay sailing club scene resulted in an impressive string of 6 wins from 6 races.

Peter Kennedy and Stephen Kane from Belfast Lough are a team never to be underestimated however. A win on home waters this season for the Northerns title shows that the northerners have the potential to upset. Local Hero Brian Spence and Gareth Flannigan will both be on the water. Although not recently active in the class, both northerners will be keen to assert their influence on the leader board once again.

From the West, Sligo based Brian & Paul Reilly on BMW Boomsticks and Cork based Scott McKeown onboard Magic helmed by Mel Collins will be up for this event, with a few near misses this season, both crews will be hungry for this event and will certainly do damage to the scoreboard and look to upset the table.

Also attending is the formidable team of Emmet and James Ryan, recent RS400 National title winners. The pair have been going from strength to strength in the RS class and will be tipped to cut a dash in the SB's.

Published in SB20
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Page 22 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.

Competitions

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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