Sportsboat World is the manufacturer and worldwide distributor of the SB20, a British-built one-design 6.15m keelboat conceived by Tony Castro as a wide appeal, affordable, competitive sports sailboat.
Two decades after the successful launch of this strict one-design sailboat, we are now ready to widen our reach by strengthening our ties with our trusted international network of SB20 dealers and stakeholders and expanding into new territories, building on the 800-strong fleet of SB20s around the world.
My passion for boats started early as you can see from the rather exposed photo !!!
I grew up in Lisbon, Portugal and thanks to my father started sailing on his boat, a 10m sloop called “Beau Geste” . at 8 years old I started sailing school and at 10 years old I was a young instructor at the Naval association teaching the young kids to sail !
Soon sailing Lusitos, Cadets, and then Moth. At around 12 the “Snipe” came into my sailing life eventually wining the Junior National championships 4 years later. In the meantime as crew I won the Senior National championship in “Vouga” (a kind of Soling ) and “Sharpie12m”
In the meantime I had the pleasure of being the first person to trapeze in a FD in Portugal . I could hardly pull that genoa by myself !! What a beautiful boat that was.
Less successful was my adventure in a “Star”, being too young, too light and not enough experience ! but that boat remained my dream boat to this day…
Luckily we had many older Portuguese sailors quite good internationally so I learned a lot by studying them, something I used to do quite professionally for such a young kid. Asked lots of questions and watched their preparations before a race.
Some years later I was sent to Scotland to study Naval Architecture and sailing in bigger boats became the norm. First in a half tonner “Scampi III” and later a One Tonner “Billycan” . By 1973 I did my first Admiral’s Cup. Followed that by becoming a Navigator and sailing all over the World, also crewing on “Windward passage” ,“Equation” “Saudade” and so on.. phenomenal boats !
After some glorious years working with Ron Holland, I designed “Justine III” and won the One-Ton Cup with 6 bullets , first one ever on a World Championship since 1896. The rest is quite a long story…including the party consuming 159 bottles of champagne ! Joe English son was baptised on the cup the next day !
Throughout my professional life I always liked to design smaller boats. More difficult and less margin, or no margin for mistakes.. I recall wining the “National 18” national championship in Ireland and designing also the wining “Flying Fifteen”. Also helped design a new mast section for the “Star”.
Later immensely enjoyed working on the Sydney Olympics “470” appendages for the bronze medal winners of my Portuguese friends.
It was thanks to the friends I made in Ireland that I got the chance to design the first modern “sportsboat”, the “ 1720 Cork One Design”.
This was the boat that got Laser excited about doing a smaller boat and the SB20 was born..!
My desire is to continue to serve the SB20 community the best way we can, promote the best possible events, have fun and think about other future SB designs perhaps….
My early years were spent sailing International cadets at South Cerney…
I grew up in the heart of the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire. Despite being a fair distance for the sea I was surrounded by many small lakes and gravel pits that offered some fantastic dinghy sailing and what turned out a great place to start my sailing career.
My early years were spent sailing International cadets at South Cerney SC before I ventured into the laser 1 and Scorpion dinghy.
Lauching my first cadet in 1975
In the late 70’s my parents fancied something a bit bigger than their Fireball, so we soon found ourselves as a family (dog and all) commuting the 360mile round trip to Plymouth each weekend to race our mini tonner around Plymouth sound including coastal racing to Fowey and Falmouth . A few years later the boats got a big bigger and sailing moved to the Solent.
Spending every weekend in the Hamble and many hours in the King and Queen pub, I soon made several good sailing friends and the decision to move to the south coast wasn’t a difficult one. in the late 80’s, I spent a number of years traveling from one sailing event to the next. My first break was a chance to sail on the B&Q / Virgin airlines Ultra 30 competing in the UK Series. (The Ultras were the first boats to get proper TV coverage back in the early 90’s) … I jumped ship when the opportunity came to sail with Lawrie Smith on his Ultra “Frontera! and from then on, I didn’t look back.
Utra30 circuit 1990’s
In the early 2000’s I was working for Jack Holt selling marine Hardware to the UK Boat builders and with the connections I had built in the racing world was approached by Musto to sell clothing to race teams around the world which I did until 2018 .During this time I was also encouraged to keep sailing and was fortunate to have sailed with many fantastic sailors at some of the world’s best venues . I think of myself as being very modest , but I’m proud of my sailing achievements over the years which include: J24 National Champion , Melges 24 National , European and World Champion , Mumm30 European Champion , Etchells National , European and twice World champion , ISAF Bronze medallist , Three times Captain’s cup winner and member of the British Admirals Cup team .
After involvement with the SB20’s development at my days at Jack Holt and competing at some enjoyable class events in previous years I grabbed the opportunity to take the Helm at Sportsboatworld in late 2018. The SB20 has been and still is a leading international one design class which ticks all the boxes for fast fun and affordable sailing. The class continues to grow around the world offering the best bang for your buck one design racing on offer anywhere. It’s a fantastic opportunity to be involved with such a great class and enthusiastic group of owners.
Having a lot of fun in the SB20 at the King of Cowes regatta
Outside of sailing and when time allows I enjoy tinkering on classic cars, clay shooting, coastal walks and attempting to train my sprnger spaniel..