Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

SB20 World Championship 2012 – Interest in SB20 class at all-time high

by Lisa Ratcliff on 19 Dec 2012
UON SB20 World Champs at Hamilton Island Katie Ashworth/SB20 Class
The SB20 class has experienced a renewed interest among sailing enthusiasts and it’s expected to get even bigger at the conclusion of the UON SB20 World Championship at Hamilton Island, which has already produced a number of exciting races going into its penultimate day of competition. Sportsboat World has been a key backer behind the successful staging of the first SB20 Worlds held in the southern hemisphere.

The UON SB20 World Championship at Hamilton Island has turned the spotlight on the class that began a decade ago and now boasts 700 boats worldwide, strong orders and a line-up of world and Olympic champions who own and crew the sporty 20 footers.

This is the first time an SB20 world title has been held in the southern hemisphere and a healthy fleet of 42 boats representing nine countries are in the closing stages of their six day series to crown the 2012-2013 world champion.

Half the fleet is Australian and the rest have shipped their SBs, thanks to a generous Queensland government grant, and travelled to the glorious Whitsundays.

'We were very fortunate to get funding from the Queensland government and that allowed us to make shipping boats to Hamilton Island cost effective,' said Sportsboat World co-founder Jerry Hill who is currently eighth on the pointscore on the penultimate day of racing.

'It’s not a cheap exercise shipping boats half way around the world, and the exchange rate is not in our favour at the moment' said the Southampton based Hill.



This year the class has undergone some major changes with a new manufacturer and distributor, Sportsboat World, founded by SB20 designer Tony Castro in partnership with Jerry Hill and Alan Hillman.

Jerry Hill is a former UK Class Chairman and 2010 SB20 world champion while Hillman, Sportsboat World’s full time manager, came from the SB20 specialist firm, Rigging Gurus.

Once Sportsboat World was up and running Castro appointed White Formula in the UK, who built the first 50 boats in 2002, as the licensed SB20 builder.

'This year has been about consolidation, getting the new company set up, working with the dealers and making people feel confident we are going to support the class,' said Hill.

'Once we consolidated the next step was getting the quality of the boats back to the right level. It’s important people aspire to buy new boats so we moved production back to the UK. The moulds were retooled and to date eight been launched with another six in the factory.

Four of the new boats are competing at the SB20 world championships: Team Russia, Cube II from the Netherlands and the two UON boats from Western Australia.

There have also been some further changes in Australia this year with the original dealer Rod Jones stepping aside. 'I acknowledge all the hard work Rod put into the class,' said Hill.

'The class in Australia is now being serviced by three individuals representing the local fleet, Nick Rogers in Tasmania, Robert Jeffreys in Melbourne and the Keogh family in Perth. That’s how we are set up at the moment.

'Servicing Australia is very different to Europe because of the vast distances. We will work with those individuals to put the best structure in place and we’ll give the Australian fleet whatever support we can' added Hill.

The calibre of sailor being drawn to the class is unique. Sprinkled among the top 10 boats at the UON SB20 World Championships are many Olympic and world champions in the SBs and other classes.

'When you look at the quality in the fleet at the top at these worlds, pretty much all have been to the Olympics. The top end is very high, which attracts other top guys,' Hill points out.

'I think we have a good balance because it doesn’t put off the guy with a regular job who goes sailing on the weekend for fun, the ‘weekend warrior’, and occasionally they might beat the top guys to a top mark or in the odd race.'

'One design sailing means everyone is sailing the same boat, it becomes highly tactical and great fun' said Hill. 'It’s also very social because you are all facing inboard and working together, unlike some other classes where the helmsman is sitting by himself.'



This month the SB20 World Council announced the launch of the SB20 Grand Slam circuit in Europe next year at three favourite SB20 sailing locations, Hyeres in the south of France, Lake Garda in Italy and at Cowes Week in the UK.

Hyeres has been announced as the venue for the class’ next world championship and the Council is now going through the process of determining where the worlds will be staged in 2014.

At this world championship Hill has been delighted with the level of competition and the feedback on the new boats.

'If I believe half the stories I’ve been told this week we are going to be pretty busy, which is great news.'
This could mean Hill’s order is pushed further back.

'Unfortunately we didn’t have time to build me a new boat for these world titles as we sold them all to customers. Somewhere along the line I might be able to shuffle things around and get one for myself.'

Further information on Sportsboat World at SportsBoat World

Results at http://worlds2012.sb20class.com!SB20_World_Championships_2012 and Hamilton Island SB20 World Championship

Wildwind 2016 660x82Zhik Yachting 660x82T Clewring Cruising

Related Articles

Alinghi pull off incredible comeback to take Act 6 in Madeira
Swiss team Alinghi came back from a dismasting to win Act 6 of Extreme Sailing Series™ in extraordinary circumstances Swiss team Alinghi came back from a dismasting to win Act 6 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in extraordinary circumstances on the waters of Portugal’s Madeira Islands.
Posted today at 3:39 am
It’s Chuck’s fault!
The blame rests squarely with the much venerated, and truly celebrated US sports photographer, Chuck Lantz The blame rests squarely with the much venerated, and truly celebrated US sports photographer, Chuck Lantz. Had he not shown me this image he took during the recent Rolex Big Boat Series on San Francisco Bay, then this editorial would not have come to pass.
Posted today at 2:36 am
Oman Air stay top of Extreme Sailing Series table with podium place
Oman Air stayed top of the overall leaderboard after posting a third place in Act six and shifted focus to the next Act. Oman Air stayed top of the overall leaderboard after posting a third place in Act six in Madeira and immediately shifted their focus to the next Act in Lisbon, Portugal, in two weeks.
Posted on 25 Sep
Olympic Gold medalist and Volvo Ocean Race winner up for WS Board
Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing in November. The five times Olympic medalist, Volvo Ocean Race winner and several times America's Cup competitor will bring a much needed sailing edge to the Board of World Sailing if he can navigate the politics of the controlling body of the sport.
Posted on 25 Sep
Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge - Images from Régates Royales
The final round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge is underway at Cannes in the 38th Régates Royales. The final round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge is underway at Cannes in the 38th Régates Royales with classic yachts and Dragons. Eugenia Bakunova of mainsail.ru was on the water at Cannes and provided this gallery of images from the penultimate day of the regatta.
Posted on 25 Sep
Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge - More images from Régates Royales
Second gallery from the final round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge at Cannes The 38th Régates Royales, the final round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge is underway at Cannes. Eugenia Bakunova of mainsail.ru was on the water at Cannes and provided this second gallery of images from the penultimate day.
Posted on 25 Sep
World Sailing - Henderson sets out foundations of his President bid
Paul Henderson is standing for another term as President to get some significant and vital issues facing Sailing address Paul Henderson is standing for another term as President to get some significant and vital issues facing Sailing addressed by sailors with their input both individually and via their International Class Associations. Henderson sets out below what he believes will be the foundations of his next Presidency.
Posted on 25 Sep
World Sailing President nominated by 45 Member National Associations
Incumbent World Sailing President, Carlo Croce (ITA) has welcomed nominations from 45 Member National Associations Incumbent World Sailing President, Carlo Croce (ITA) has nominations from 45 Member National Associations [MNAs] for his re-election as the President of Sailing’s International Federation. Nominations for the position of President have been formally published by World Sailing and show widespread support for Croce.
Posted on 25 Sep
Swiss stars Alinghi lose mast in collision in action-packed day
The Extreme Sailing Series™ lived up to its name on the penultimate day of Act 6 in Madeira The Extreme Sailing Series™ lived up to its name on the penultimate day of Act 6 in Madeira as a collision between rivals Alinghi and Red Bull Sailing Team resulted in the Swiss crew losing their mast.
Posted on 25 Sep
Oman Air in peak form going into final day at Extreme Sailing Series
A fresher breeze on the third day gave the GC32 fleet a chance to give the spectators an invigorating show of action A fresher breeze on the third day gave the GC32 fleet a chance to give the spectators lining the shores on the south coast of the island an invigorating show of speed and action and it was Oman Air that led the way with seven podium places – including two outright wins – in seven races.
Posted on 24 Sep