#sb20grandslam – The SB20 class is looking forward to its first Grand Slam event of the 2015 season at the stunning venue of Hyères in the South of France, this morning.
This is the first of four Grand Slam events for 2015, with Grand Slam regattas also scheduled at Torbole in Italy, Cowes on the Isle of Wight, and Cascais in Portugal for the one-design 20-foot keelboat class.
New for 2015, the first Masters team will be awarded prizes from sailmakers Hyde while the top Women's team will win luxury products from skincare company Clarins.
Hyères, on the Cote d'Azur, is famed as a superb sailing venue – just last week it hosted some of the world's best sailors at the ISAF World Cup event, welcoming top Olympic and Paralympic class competitors to the glamorous South of France. The SB20 class is returning to the venue for their third Hyères Grand Slam, and can look forward to three days of racing with up to 12 races scheduled by organisers COCYH, and spectacular sailing conditions forecast of strong breezes with plenty of sunshine.
The fleet has attracted 25 entries from eight countries, including France, Portugal, Russia, Germany, Britain, Monaco, Switzerland, and as far afield as Singapore but unfortunately none from the Irish fleet. Competitors include Alexey Muraskhkin, who won last year's Torbole Grand Slam event, and Class President Edward Russo.
"This is an exceptional location and we're expecting some exciting, high-octane racing over the next few days," commented Ed Russo, SB20 World Council President. "We are particularly pleased to welcome Hydes and Clarins onboard as category sponsors for this year's Grand Slam series, and are sure that the Masters and Women's teams will enjoy some superb competition in this international fleet."
The SB20 is one of the world's most successful one-design keelboats, with over 700 boats currently sailed in 22 countries. It is distributed worldwide by Sportsboat World in Netley Abbey and was originally designed by Tony Castro of Hamble, Hampshire. The 2015 World Championships will be held in Torbole, on Lake Garda in Italy from July 4-10, and the UK National Championships from September 5-8 at the Royal Southern YC in Hamble.