Concept & History

The 1720 Sportsboat is designed to be a safe, affordable and exciting one-design keelboat. The concept arose as the result of the demise in handicapped rating systems as a basis for providing quality Club Level and International keelboat racing. The original idea was conceived by a group of committed racing members of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, on the South coast of Ireland, which was founded in 1720 and as such is the oldest Yacht Club in the world.
What was required was a boat that would deliver affordable competitive keelboat racing to a helmsman and crew, some of whom would be in the thirty or ”forty something” age bracket. In 1991 the group approached a number of international yacht designers with an idea to produce a new Cork Harbour One Design to replace the famous class that was designed and built in 1895/96 and raced in Cork until the 1960s.

Our Story

Tony Castro was closest to the brief by producing an inexpensive robust, highly stable, high performance, geriatric proof, 5 or 6 man one design keelboat that will satisfy the needs of sailors today and for the foreseeable future
A set of very high quality moulds were made and with the persistence of a small dedicated group, aided by many Royal Cork members, and others, the prototype was launched in March 1994.
The yacht immediately proved to have outstanding performance, and within a few days it was realised that Tony Castro had achieved everything that was asked for. An intensive sailing and development programme was undertaken with the prototype, thus reducing snags, and now there is a boat which achieves speeds in excess of 20 knots, while, at the same time provides the basis for a stable, controlled, close racing, one design class.
As you would expect, there have been a number of significant developments within the Class, which have been essential in order to keep pace with developments in ‘sportsboat’ racing and in order to keep the 1720 bang up to date. Most notable of these were the introduction of a new, more modern deck plan in 2003, and the launch of the 1720 Class.

The 1720 Class

The 1720 Class is now being fleet raced both in class, under IRC and in mixed sportsboat fleets at various locations around the UK and Ireland. It has provided the perfect option for those 1720 owners who do not wish to race with the full 5 or 6 person crew, and the furling headsail and smaller kite allow them to do exactly this.
The hull and rig are exactly the same as on the classic 1720 Sportsboat, and conversion to the Club rig for 1720 Club ‘class’ racing or mixed handicap racing is simply a case of adding a genoa furling system; you don’t even need to drop the rig to do this. To convert back to the classic set-up is equally simple for owners who then wish to compete at the grand-prix 1720 events.
The 1720 Class won the mixed sportsboat class at Cork Week 2004 and has just won the Garmin Hamble Winter Series SBR Class with a weekend to spare, having achieved a creditable 11 wins out of the 12 races sailed so far. So, the future is looking bright for the 1720 Class.

Upcoming Events