“Great boat to sail! Simple, fast, powerful and fun! Great class to join in on a budget, easy to kick start a competitive program! “
A J70 sailor onboard an SB 20…
It’s quite impressive how two similar concept and size boats can be so different to race on. Being an experienced J70 sailor, I’ve joined the SB 20 class in 2019 when a good friend decided to buy one in Cascais.
The experience started in a very pleasant way as we chartered a boat for a weekend race in May, 2019. For our surprise, the “weekend” race had three countries involved! It was awesome how we managed to find pace on the first weekend on a charter boat. And that tell us a bit about the boat and the class: the restrictions on rules for boat prepping and sails, make good one design race leaving the main variable on the sailors.
But back to the sailing bit, the differences in sailing are quite big:
Upwind sailing with the crew legs-in allow an easier crew communication not to tell the comfort for the whole team. Sail plan is balanced and versatile since the soft rig reacts really well the tuning changes.
Downwind it’s a very fun game on the SB20. Having a more powerful and flatter kite, scratches a lot of the mode changing techniques needed on the 70s, and the boat wants to be pressed/lazy planning in about 12 knots TWS. Above that, it’s pure dinghy “full noise” feeling on board. By the way, due to the low freeboard and great handling, it looks a lot like dinghy sailing the whole time!
On the first weekend we managed to finish second on the twenty-boat fleet, which obviously pumped the owner to put together a program for the 2020 Worlds in Cascais which will probably have an 80-90 boat fleet in an astonishing venue!
Setting up the program was not difficult at all! After contacting Simon Russel and Tony Castro, they helped me finding a boat that could fit our budget and in two months I was shipping a 2017 boat in awesome conditions from Southampton to Cascais.
First event of the 2020 season was a blast with 12 countries and 40 boats! Classic Cascais weather did not showed up during that weekend but either way we managed to do two perfect training days with 4 races each and 3 light wind official races on Saturday and Sunday, where our team in our recently christened boat “Open Bar” managed to finish 3rd on the series.
After that, our program was hardly paused due to COVID-19 crises, but we are certain that we will be back on the water, hopefully for the Worlds in September. It will be a great comeback after all this nightmare the world is going through!
Looking forward to be back on a SB 20 soon!
Name: Mário Trindade
Position: Professional Sailor, J70 World Champion 2019