All to play for the 2022 SB20 World Championships
With less than a week remaining until the biggest annual event for our Class one will be guessing who can be the winner of the coveted trophy this year? Realistically this may be the most open championship for many teams to claim victory. There is a healthy number of registered boats and we are proud to welcome the participants from as far as Australia, Singapore, Dubai and especially from Ukraine!
As a Class not only are we happy to have the participants from all over the world, but we are excited to welcome some new teams and young sailors. We are delighted to see at least nine women at the helm and more female sailors in the fleet. There will be six new boats delivered for this World Championship! One of the newest boats in the fleet #3821 will be raced by SportsboatWorld’s director Liam Pardy himself, so do stop by to have a look and maybe consider an upgrade/purchase. With all the interest toward new boats the manufacturer has prepared another two new SB20s that are ready to look for their new owners straight after the event!
Another one of the new boats, from the anniversary edition (#3819) will be delivered for the Ares Team from Tasmania. Will Sargent and his team are the 2020 national champions, having also claimed the Youth title and winning the 2022 Tasmanian trophy back in February this year. Sargent, sailing with Eddie Reid, Ed Broadby and Eirini Marios (same crew as for the Worlds), won nine points clear of Michael Cooper’s Export Roo and 13 points in front of sailing legend Nick Rogers on Karabos. In an SB20 Australia report, this young sailor described how his match racing experience has been beneficial. “It’s another element that I can use when I need to, especially when approaching marks.” Sargent’s confidence and skill as a skipper has been strengthened through his experiences sailing against his own idol, Tom Slingsby. “He’s known as an aggressive sailor, but he knows when to use it and when to stay calm and collected, and I think over the last couple of years, I have really learnt how to channel that,” – said Sargent.
The Australian fleet is also represented by Brett Cooper, who was 5th at the 2019 SB20 Worlds in Hyeres, he will be sailing again with Darren Jones and Sam Tiedemann. We will also greet the 2021 Australian National champion – Tasmanian team Mind Games, skippered by Phil Reid sailing with Rohan Langford, Andre Declerck and Esther Read.
The largest fleet, a mixture of old and new faces, is from the hosting nation with 17 boats. Team TED (formerly SinBin) skippered by Michael ’Connor is one of the contestants you should watch out for. Together with his long-term crew Davy Taylor and Edward Cook they took bronze at the 2018 Europeans in home waters and won the Nationals last year. In the warm up event ahead of the Worlds last weekend they took first place. It’s clear, TED is charged for top result!
With over 50 sailors in the Irish fleet there is no doubt that TED is not the only team to keep at safe distance – preferably behind. The current Class president Jerry Dowling onboard Bad/Kilcullen helmed by Stefan Hyde sailing with his brother James Dowling (10th in 2018 Europeans), Ger Dempsey on venuesworld.com with Rory Groves, MJ Geraghty and Chris Nolan representing RIYC or James Gorman on Black sailing with Gleb Romantchik and Keith Staunton along with other skilled Irish sailors – will all fight for a title on home waters.
Another familiar name on the SB20 circuit – Mel Collins hasn’t sailed the SB20s much since 2013, but in 2011 in Torquay he was 11th at the Worlds with 103 boats and ahead of the 12th placed boat with Nathan Outteridge on the helm and crew of Tom Slingsby and Ian Brown.
John Malone on Provident CRM, who are sponsoring our Worlds event this year, is looking forward to a great event, he compares SB20 racing with working environment, stating: “The SB20 offers high-performance asymmetric sportsboat sailing, making it highly competitive and fun to watch and sail. We at Provident CRM believe that working together keeps us moving forward – a great sailing analogy for professional life.”
We are very pleased to see and welcome the female part of the Irish fleet and noticed that the local forces will be joined by a Portuguese helms-woman Rita Leal de Faria on Manamana. This somehow excuses SB20 Portugal sending only one boat for this competition and supports Vasco Serpa’s Solyd Sailing Team/SailCasais in representing Portugal at this event.
The second largest fleet traditionally comes from the UK (10 boats). Among them – John Pollard with brothers Jack and Henry Wetherell, both coming from professional sailing background in Laser and Finn classes, they will definitely be a strong competitor in the top 10. “UK teams have been training hard and raised the game with ever present Breaking Bod and PBII and we are hopeful of a good nations trophy performance this year,” – said Pollard, current UK champion and the overall winner of Cascais Winter Series 2021-2022.
SB20 Class Chairman Paul Hine with Mark Gillett on the helm with their new PBII “Twenty” boat, already proving well in the pre-worlds test event, finishing 4th and tied with the 3rd placed team venuesworld.com. Another new boat delivered to Dublin by SportsboatWorld in the anniversary edition is “Tan Gwyllt” of Phil Tilley, who is bringing Alida Lewis as crew. Charlie Whelan on Breaking Bod is coming with his long-term sailing partner Richard McAdam, but we still don’t know who will be their third crew. Last time in 2018 here in Dun Laoghaire he sailed with Dave Chapman (the 2019 SB20 Bronze champion) and together they’ve achieved 9th place overall.
Alongside the Brits we will witness a big Dutch fleet that is starting their preparation for the 2023 SB20 Worlds – scheduled to happen in June next year in The Hague. There will be eight official boats from the Netherlands and one boat from Liechtenstein with a Dutch skipper, which makes it nine boats in total.
The Dutch will be sending at least three youth teams to Ireland with two coming from TU Delft/Broach and one from the Rotterdam Student Sailing Association. The main contender for the top places on the leaderboard will be team 3J’s of Jeroen van der Velden with Jeroen Kop and Jan van der Meijden. The trio has sailed well together for a number of years, having claimed the National title and winning the Open Belgian Championship last year.
Pascal Bakker on SquiB sailed in Cascais Worlds 2021, but didn’t get a good result. Tim Spek’s Manta and SiverBullet of Jan-Willem van Rooij are also prominent teams to watch out for. Another new boat christened “Laserop” is coming for owner Bert van der Hoeven to Ireland, where Stijn Snelder, experienced offshore and local sailor will be helming for him. Together with the Dutch fleet we welcome two boats from Belgium with Bart Tytgat on Go with the flow and Tacktonic of Cedric Debleye, both representing Royal North Sea Yacht Club.
SB20 France is participating with five boats this year with two from the French Sailing Federation. One of the new FFVoile SB20 will be the Youth Team of Ian Garetta sailing in the “Under 21” category. They have previously sailed well together in France polishing their sailing skills in match racing. This is their first year with in the SB20 Class and they expect to continue on through to the 2024 Worlds in Dubai.
The other French Youth Team, that of Corentin Goulon – similar to Ian, is a great team, that we believe will be a strong contender. Three members of their team come from New Caledonia. Having little experience in SB20 they started training in France this summer and finished second in the warm-up Eastern Championship last weekend. They have also sailed a lot together on other sportboats and they enjoy match racing. We can expect them to be in top 10 on a regular basis fighting for the top Youth trophy.
Class veteran and former Class president Ed Russo with his star crew Gilles Favennec is bringing the 2012 Bronze Olympian in Finn Class Jonathan Lobert. “Skin in the Game has a top ten objective at the 2022 Worlds following the 11th placed finish in 2021 in Cascais. We also have an objective as part of the French delegation to defend the Nation’s Cup with the other French teams,” – commented Ed Russo about his ambitions.
The Class is very happy to welcome Julia Freespirit with her #GameChanger team. The SB20 Ireland team have made every effort to help our only Ukrainian entry to participate in the event. This year Julia will be sailing with fully British crew, with team coach Sam Brearey (Fireball and Merlin Rocket champion), Faye Chatterton (420 Class switching to 49FX this year) and Oliver Spensley-Corfield, professional sailor, coach and sport performance psychologist.
Following the sad abandonment of the 2021 Worlds in Singapore due to COVID-19 we are happy to welcome three SGP teams this year and hope that the bid for another world championship in this fantastic destination will soon return to discussion! Nils Razmilovic on Glasgow Kiss is bringing his usual crew of Laser World Champion Nik Burfoot and David Salembier, hopefully improving his 15th result at Cascais Worlds last year. Agoston Sipos on Tara will be sailing with Magnus Ekbom, Sunniva Stenmark and Adrian Peach joined by another SGP team Zorro of Nick Cocks with Pascal Buckley and Alex Conway.
With three boats from Dubai: YALLA SHAMAL! of Rachel Blackburn, new boat 3818 KIDZINK with Charlotte Borghesi and superSONIC of Michal Pajak we will welcome new sailors from this new SB20 destination to the international level and will be able to ask all the questions about SB20 UAE, the host of the 2024 SB20 Worlds Championships.
Will there be last-minute changes to the registration list? There is always a possibility to see more boats on the starting line. We may not be able to predict who will win the championship, but some things are out of doubt – the great hospitality by the Irish SB20 Association along with the hosting Royal Irish Yacht Club will ensure we will have a memorable event!
Racing for the SB20 World Championship 2022 starts on the 5th September and concludes on the 9th September followed by a prize-giving ceremony. You can follow through SB20 Class social media and website updates on www.sb20class.org for daily results.
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Event website: www.sb20worlds2022.com