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Irish Sailor Jerry Dowling Steps Down as World SB20 Class President

12th September 2022
Royal Irish Yacht Club Commodore Jerry Dowling
Royal Irish Yacht Club Commodore Jerry Dowling

At the recently concluded SB20 World Championships on Dublin Bay, it was announced that the current Class President, Irish sailor Jerry Dowling, was stepping down after three years in the role, handing over to the class's first Southern Hemisphere appointment,
the current Australian Association chairman - Scott Glanville.

As regular Afloat readers know, Dowling finished in the top ten at the Dun Laoghaire championships, sailing with Stefan Hyde and his brother Jimmy Dowling.

Busy Dowling is also the Commodore of the Royal Irish Yacht Club, which successfully hosted the 58-boat championships.

“It’s been a pleasure to serve the Tony Castro-designed SB20 Class over the last three tumultuous years. The Class has proved to be resilient, to say the least. We’ve grown in Australia, Singapore and the UAE, as well as in Malta and Finland. I am very proud that my club, RIYC, is hosting this year’s World Championships with an entry of 58 boats from 12 nations,” Dowling said on the announcement.

He added: “This is an incredible number considering what has happened over the last years, and is a testament to the strength of Class. In my tenure as president, I have secured the hosting of the world championships for the next three years. The class is in a very good place despite the challenges ahead. May I wish Scott the very best during his reign as class president.”

After the next year’s World Championship in the Netherlands (17th-23rd June 2023), the fleet will travel south, to Dubai, in February 2024. Later that year, in late September/early October, the Maltese SB20 Association will host the European Championship together with the Royal Malta Yacht Club.

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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

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