Many of the international teams have now arrived in Dublin for the SB20 European Championships at the Royal Irish Yacht Club from Tuesday 28th August to Saturday 1st September. Racegeek's Ric Morris, one of the event sponsors, runs through the likely contenders for next weeks SB20 Europeans
VIS Sailing Team of Saint-Petersburg announced their intentions with a win at last week’s East Coast Domestic Regionals, dominating the final day of racing with 3 wins out of 4.
Equipment for the Australian Porco Rosso team arrived at the venue last night and the team arrives this Friday. Their second-place finish at the recent Portuguese Nationals marks them out among the favourites. The Portuguese team Animal of Clube Naval de Cascais that won that event is also here in Dublin.
Michael O'Connor’s Sixth Place is Irish High
Multi-world champions Give Me 5 are absent, but a strong French contingent of 5 teams is led by Alain Roig. Ukrainian team #GAMECHANGER is also expected to mount a challenge.
The SB20 class has had a strong presence in Ireland since its inception and any of four local teams can be expected to be in the mix. Despite patchy form since Michael O'Connor’s 6th place at the 2017 World Championships remains the stand out performance by an Irish team at the top level.
Jerry Downing and Stefan Hyde of host club have won the national championship several times. No big event in Ireland would be the same without Marty O'Leary and after a couple of seasons dominating the RS200 racing nationally he switches over to helm Boomsticks for this event. A Howth Yacht Club team with Cillian Dixon and Sam Byrne as regulars joined the class this winter and will be strong contenders.
After 3 months of sunny and stable weather, Autumnal equinox conditions arrived in Dublin last week. The first day of the east coast championship served up winds pushing past 35 kts. It's a testament to the resilience of the SB20, and the suitability of the venue for sportsboat racing, that racing continued in conditions that may otherwise have been of concern. Dublin bay can be a tricky venue with a strong tidal influence and the long-range forecast indicates there is the potential for similar full-on racing next week.
Racegeek is one of a number of sponsors for the event. The company has been associated with the class previously as a sponsor of the 2017 Worlds in Cowes, England and 2018 Worlds in Hobart Australia.
More on Racegeek here