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SB20s & 1720s to Share Championship Arrangements at Royal Cork This Weekend When Nat 18s Also Race

13th August 2021
"Without fuss and in perfect trim" – Michael O'Connor and the Ted Team showing how a successful SB20 should be raced to windward. The SB20s and the 1720s are sharing championship facilities at Royal Cork YC in Crosshaven this weekend, when the National 18s will also be racing Credit: Afloat

In a new championship setup which reflects the pared-back post-pandemic situation as sailing re-finds itself in 2021, the two Tony Castro-designed Sportsboats – the 1720 of 1994 vintage and the newer SB20 – will be sharing course arrangements for championships at Royal Cork in Crosshaven this weekend, where the National 18s – the daddy of them all - will also be racing.

In the 1720s, Rob O'Leary of Baltimore was the most consistently successful in 2020, but in 2021's Easterns at Howth in July, it was the Howth-Crosshaven team of Ross McDonald and Aoife English who emerged as champions ahead of clubmate Dan O'Grady, with O'Leary in third.

the Howth-Crosshaven team 1720 team of Ross McDonald and Aoife EnglishThe Howth-Crosshaven 1720 team of Ross McDonald and Aoife English

The SB20 Southerns this weekend meanwhile have an added significance, as they are also the in effect the class's selection trials for the All Ireland Championship, that historic battle for the crème de la crème in which the SB20s have had a notably good record in recent years.

In 2021, Team Ted led by Michael O'Connor from the Royal St George YC have been setting the pace with a convincing win in the Northerns at Carlingford. Twelve boats are expected at Crosshaven, the lineup being:

  • Shambles
    Roger Smith / Kate
  • Slippery Nipple
    John Malone / Emmet Sheridan
  • Bango
    Ben Graff / Kevin Fenton
  • Strictly Business
    Eoin Leahy / Donie Herraghty
  • Bad
    Stefan Hyde / Dowling Bros
  • Carpe Diem
    Colin Galavan / Richard Hayes
  • SoBrr
    Ron Finnegan / Declan Murphy
  • Lofly
    Doran Family
  • Sea Biscuit
    Marty Cuppage / Barry Glavin
  • Ted
    Michael O'Connor / Davy Taylor
  • Sharkbait
    James Delaney / Jude Kilmartin
  • Goldigger
    Mel Collins / Aidan MacSweeney
WM Nixon

About The Author

WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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SB20 (formerly Laser SB3) information

Designed by Tony Castro, the SB20 is a British-built strict one-design 6.15m keelboat conceived as a wide appeal, affordable, competitive sportsboat for teams of three or four sailors. It is also, arguably, the most successful sportsboat in the world with 800 owners competing regularly in a programme of exciting local, national and international events.

Originally known as the Laser SB3, the SB20 continues to deliver on its pioneering promise: a boat that is fun, fast and easy to sail by anyone of any age; the best value-for-money sportsboat in the market.

The Laser SB3 was designed by Castro and launched in 2002. In 2007 the Laser SB3 was awarded ISAF Recognised Status and the first World Championships were held in Ireland in 2008. In 2012, Tony Castro appointed a new builder, Sportsboat World. At this time, the Laser SB3 was renamed the SB20 and building was returned to the UK from Malaysia. The ethos of the class continues.

The boat is a strict one-design class, economic to buy and campaign, easy to sail with a simple deck layout and electric downwind performance delivered by the generous sail plan. The boat has a lifting keel, can easily be launched from a slipway and towed behind a family car.

Previous SB20 World Champions

2008 GBR: Geoff Carveth, Roger Gilbert, Roz Allen & Sarah Allan

Host National Yacht Club, Dun laoghaire, Ireland

2009 GBR: Craig Burlton, Stephen White, Adam Heeley

Host Clube Naval de Cascais, Cascais, Portugal

2010 GBR: Jerry Hill, Grant Rollerson, Joe Llewellyn

Host Circolo Vela Torbole, Lake Garda, Italy

2011 GBR: Geoff Carveth, Andy Ramus, Ian Mills & Emma Clarke

Host Royal Torbay Yacht Club, Torquay, UK

2012 GBR: Geoff Carveth, Lesley Dhonau, Roger Hudson & Asenathi Jim

Host Hamilton Island Yacht Club, Queensland, Australia

2013 GRB: Craig Burlton, Stephen White, Adam Heley Host COYCH Club, Hyeres, France