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SB20 new sales and marketing structure announced

by Katie Ashworth on 2 May 2012

The global sales and marketing of the hugely successful sportsboat (formerly known as the Laser SB3) is to be carried out by a new organisation, Sportsboat World, Tony Castro announced today. The boat which will now be known as the SB20 has over 650 boats sailing in 20 countries worldwide, and it achieved ISAF recognition in 2007.

Sportsboat World is founded by SB20 designer Tony Castro.

In partnership with Jerry Hill, Alan Hillman and Mark Richards, Sportsboat World will promote the design and manufacture of sportsboats. Jerry is a former UK Class Chairman and 2010 SB3 world champion, whilst Alan and Mark are the partners of the SB3 specialists firm Rigging Gurus.

Tony Castro has appointed White Formula in the UK, who built the first 50 boats in 2002, as the licensed SB20 builder. New boats have been ordered and are due for delivery from 1st August 2012. Parts are available with immediate effect from Sportsboat World and via a revised dealer network. Sportsboat World will work with the SB20 World Council and National Associations to provide an event circuit to appeal to sailors internationally.

President of the SB20 World Council, Edward Russo (FRA) expressed his pleasure in the announcement of the developments for the SB20 class. 'This is extremely good news for the SB20 class which is currently experiencing strong growth in several countries. I am especially pleased to see the SB20 production being moved back to the UK. The promise of quality new boats, a steady supply of spares as well as technical support means the SB20 will continue to provide cost effective, international one-design competitive sailing for a long time to come.'

Glenn Bourke current Australian National Champion and 2012 Worlds host, is in full support of the new structure. 'I am delighted to hear that the SB20 class is in the hands of people who have been racing in it since it's inception. Like everyone who loves this class, I look forward a seamless transition to the production of new high quality boats. We’re ramping up for the Worlds in Hamilton Island in December and 2012 is shaping up to be yet another great year for the SB20!'

FAQ's:

License Agreement

What has changed?
Tony Castro, as the designer of the SB20, gave LaserPerformance (LP) the distribution rights to what has been known as the Laser SB3, through a Licence Agreement from 2001. This License Agreement has now been terminated. The reasons for its termination are confidential to Tony Castro and LP.

Who holds the license now?
Under the new structure Tony Castro retains the licence himself, and independently licenses the manufacturer of the boat, spars and sails. The new company Sportsboat World oversees the building of the boat, global sales distribution and general management.

Name of Boat, Laser Name and SB20 Trademarks
Will the boat name change?
The boat is now known as the SB20. The term Laser will no longer be used.

Why SB20?
The boat was originally called the SB3 as it was a '3 crew Sportsboat'. This was not commonly understood, especially with many boats sailing with 4 crew. SB20 represents '20 foot sportsboat.'

Will the Laser trademark continue?
No. The Laser trademark will not be used for the new boats, new sails and new spare parts.

Can the existing boat owners continue to use the Laser trademark (leave the Laser sticker on their boats and sails)?
Yes. There is no restriction on existing branding. New sails, new boats, websites, communication and events will use the new SB20 name.

Global Distribution
How is the SB20 be managed?
The Head Office function is managed by Sportsboat World (SBW) in the UK. SBW will organise the global distribution structure via licensed dealers around the world.

Will the existing Dealer network remain in place?
SBW are retaining most of the existing dealers, especially where they have been successful in building and supporting an existing fleet.

Who are Sportsboat World?
Please refer to the Press Release. SBW has premises around 5 miles outside of Hamble in theUK. The Hamble river has the highest concentration of SB20?s anywhere in the world, and the major suppliers are all represented close by.

Does Sportsboat World have other responsibilities?
SBW is the UK SB20 dealer.

How will SBW and its dealer network support the class?
SBW and its dealer network are working with the regional Class Association on events, to ensure that the racing is fun, competitive and in the right locations.

New Boats
Can I buy a new SB20 now?
Yes.

Who do I contact for a new boat?
Visit here. The full global dealer list will be published shortly, but in the mean time, SBW will be able to help or point you in the direction of your dealer.

Where are the new boats built?
White Formula builds the SB20. They were the original builder in theUK. The decision to revert to them was based on build quality, shipping and logistics.

Will DK Boats continue to build SB20?s?
No.

Has the new SB20 changed?
SBW will incorporate a number of small changes, to improve the sailing experience and iron out any small technical issues. SBW are ensuring that the strict one design nature of the boat is maintained, so any changes have no implications on the speed of the boat.

Who guarantees the new boats?
The manufacturer of boats, sails, spars and parts have warranties for the products they produce. The warranty process is managed by Sportsboat World and the respective dealers.

Sails and Spare Parts
Where do we buy new sails and spare parts?
All sails, spars and spare parts are available exclusively through the new SB20 dealer network.

Is there a sail levy?
Yes. A small sail levy will be paid directly to the World Council. This will be used to help fund events. This levy is included in the retail price.

Events
What will the events be known as?
All future events will be held as the SB20 class. The official name will be changed at ISAF, and the class constitution and class rules will be adjusted accordingly through appropriate procedures.

Does this change effect the 2012 European and World Championships?
No. These events will be run exactly as planned. There will simply be a class name change to the Sportsboat World SB20 Class Association website

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