Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Royal St. George 'Ted' Finish Tenth at SB20 Worlds 2023 as First-Ever Australian Team are Crowned Champions

23rd June 2023
SB20 World Champions 2023 - Will Sargent, Eddie Reid, Paige Caldecott and, Eirini Marios
SB20 World Champions 2023 - Will Sargent, Eddie Reid, Paige Caldecott and, Eirini Marios Credit: Laurens Morel

Ireland's top result at the SB20 Worlds is tenth overall after 12 races sailed in the Netherlands, where the regatta saw the first-ever Australian team crowned champions.

Michael O'Connor, Davey Taylor, and Ed Cook sailing Ted from the Royal St. George, are now discarding a 20th from race eight in the 54-boat fleet. It puts them down four places from seventh overall to 11th, which is their position after the first day.

The next of the four Irish boats competing (all from Dun Laoghaire Harbour) is the National's Tadgh Donnelly, Peter Carvill, and Dan Little in Leviathan in 18th. Royal Irish's Colin Galavan, Aaron Jones, and Kevin O'Rourke in Carpe Diem finished 23rd. Ger Dempsey, Barry Glavin and Niall O'Riordan ended up 34th.

The final day of the championship took a long time to start. Called for an earlier skippers briefing Friday morning, the competitors discovered a deep fog covering the harbour. The wind was unstable and patchy, not giving much hope for racing.

After some waiting ashore, a two-hour postponed flag was hoisted until finally, at 13:00, the fleet was sent to the water. A pressure front was passing the coast from Belgium, and the chance was that it would allow to sail one race or pass by too quickly.

At the racecourse, the wind was around 7-8 knots and PRO Dirk Sledsens (Royal North Sea Yacht Club in Ostend) had the mercy on sailors to not go into the Black Flag start on the first attempt. After a start on Uniform and a general recall that followed the RC managed to quickly hoist the orange flag again, and the final battle was on.

The tide was pushing the boats onto the starting line at about 3 knots of speed, and two French Youth teams were leading the race. On the upwind marks, France Youth of Ange Delerce was first and France Youth of Ian Garreta was third. Between them, Another Affair was rounding in 2nd.

Just after the rounding at the top marks, the numbers were called on the radio announcing that both French Youth teams had had a BFD, but the two teams continued racing. Getting to the downwind marks was tricky and the teams found it hard to get the boats going.

On the 2nd upwind rounding, the leaders got shuffled and this time, between the French teams was Australian Porco Rosso in second. Without losing too much speed downwind they crossed the line after the two French teams which meant winning Race 12!

Supersonic had a good race - after the 4th position at the 1st upwind mark, the only top boat to gybe early, they got the 2nd finish in the race. Charles Whelan on Breaking Bod managed to stay in the front in this difficult race finishing third and concluding the event with a smile.

Team Ares rounded around 6th place at the first upwind, then had an incident at the bottom with Another Affair, who received a penalty. Next upwind, they overtook slowed down Breaking Bod and Leviathan, both on the inside, and rounded in 5th. From then they had to keep the pace and make it to the finish line in top 5. Which they did and secured their win!

Many great Aussie sailors have taken the challenge to win the SB20 World Championships over the years. Glenn Bourke (several attempts), Tom Slingsby and Nathan Outteridge (on the same boat in 2011), Michael Cooper, Chris Dare, David Chapman, Ian Brown and Malcolm Page – all of them got to 2nd and 3rd overall, but it took a young gun from Hobart to get it done in 2023.

Australians, however, have been part of the winning teams in the past: Steve “AB” White was with Craig Burton for all three wins (2008, 2009 and 2013). And Grant Rollerson was on Jerry Hill’s boat in 2011 and took the trophy home.

Portugal became the new Nation’s Cup holder as the best-performing country. All four Portuguese teams finish the regatta in top 10, with Freedom of Martin Estlander in 4th (64 pts), AP Hotels of Jose Paulo Ramada in 6th (86 pts) and Solyd Sailing team of Vasco Serpa in 9th overall (116 pts).

At the award ceremony Will Sargent first thanked his team and called them “the best team in the world”. “It was a very close event, and it came down to the last race. There was a bit of match racing and a couple of penalties, but managed to go come out with a win, so we’re really excited,” –he added.

Lots of grateful words have been said at the prize-giving ceremony to the sponsors, the volunteers, the organisers and the Club staff. They’ve all done a fantastic job, always with a smile and helping each other. The hospitality of Scheveningen Yacht Club has been brilliant and the work of Race Committee exceeded all expectations. Racing in strong currents is never easy and the RC has delivered five days of racing in various tricky conditions.

Overall results:

Top Female teamRSZV (Rotterdamse Studenten Zeil Vereniging) of Donna-Tinke Huijsmans, Arthur Nankman, Tigo Ledeboer and Emma Van Ginkel (NED)

Top Masters teamPBII Twenty of Mark Gillett, Paul Hine and Richard Anderton (GBR). Paul and the team are also taking the last year’s prize that had been waiting for them in Holland. It turned out that Dutch team 3J’s was not yet eligible for the Masters category in 2022.

Top Youth teamAres of Will Sargent, Eddie Reid, Paige Caldecoat, Eirini Marios (AUS).

Best CorinthianAnother Affair of Tiago Morais, Miguel Oliveira and Francisco Oliveira (POR).

3rd place overallXcellent of John Pollard, Henry Wetherell and James Grummett (GBR)

2nd place overall - Another Affair of Tiago Morais, Miguel Oliveira and Francisco Oliveira (POR).

1st place overall - Ares of Will Sargent, Eddie Reid, Paige Caldecoat, Eirini Marios (AUS).

Race Results

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Published in SB20 Team

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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