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….
I’ve always had a passion for the water, growing up in Poole in the South UK and sailing since the age of 8 in a Cadet ,rising through the ranks to represent the Youth UK Cadet Squad in various events around the world, progressed me swiftly into the Laser competing Nationally in the Radial class and International 14.
Moving into my later teenage years, keelboats hooked me. Racing locally in Poole ,Elan 333’s ,410’s and J24’s and even participating and leading a Youth J24 Squad which travelled the J24 Circuit was also an excellent experience winning various events in the Youth divisions.
University was where my Keelboat Sailing really took off, from sailing J/80’s with the Uni to competing in RORC and JOG events on many different classes of Keelboat on weekday evenings and weekends, the SB20 included!!
During the latter of my Uni years I was lucky enough to be selected to be part of the British Keelboat Academy and train alongside some of the UK’s finest sailors and coaches and travel the UK and Europe to compete in various high level event in various keelboats was an amazing experience and helped me develop into the sailor I am today.
Where am I now? – well, im still racing! I always try to satisfy the never ending itch to get on the water and race at every opportunity. I look forward to seeing a lot of you on the water in your SB20!
Sailing is my passion and working at SportsBoat World is no different. I look forward to making this journey with everyone around the world and continue to build this excellent class and have the best events globally!