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In the wilds of Borneo…

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 19 Apr 2020 23:00 BST
The new X2 by Farr - 30 feet of fun! © Farr Yacht Design

It all started the moment our Managing Editor, Mark Jardine, gave us Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3. Immediately, I started singing another hit by Ian Dury and the Blockheads. It provided the headline above, and all I have done this week is sing this verse ad infinitum:

In the wilds of Borneo
And the vineyards of Bordeaux
Eskimo, Arapaho
Move their body to and fro.

Correct - that makes the tune, Hit me with your rhythm stick. So hit me slowly, hit me quick...

Alas, during the countless replays of the video over the last few days, I had two enduring thoughts. The first was maybe this is where Big Arnie got some of his expressions and movements for his original Terminator. The next and far more virulent notion, was that Ian's own physical appearance, on stage antics (a legacy of polio when he was a boy), and even general demeanour reminded me more and more of the theme behind the Stranglers hit, Golden Brown, which was from the same sort of era. You know, never a frown... Perhaps the Blockheads should have called their tune, Smack me with your rhythm stick?!

Miscellaneous ramblings I know, and it also dates oneself quite significantly, hence all the hyperlinks for those who weren't there and would like to come up to speed. Now rather than an opioid induced hallucinogenic trip down memory lane, today we have much more serious work to attend to. We are back with more information about the glorious X2 by Farr, which has absolutely cranked it since we revealed the initial drawings and concept a few weeks ago, and thank you to everyone for reading The newest fast 30, by Farr.

"Response to the original Sail-World article has been totally phenomenal. It has really highlighted where the market is at, and what sailors want. Pure racing is in vogue," commented Bret Perry from Farr Yacht Sales Australasia. "We have had a very high level of interest from Europe, Australia, Asia and the USA."

"In these strange times, where we have time to look at things we love doing, the X2 by Farr project is really taking shape, as sailors get ready for the other side of COVID-19. The order books are open, and interest is growing daily. We're about to commence the production phase, with the first six boats to be built before Christmas, and the first two sailing by October."

The X2 by Farr definitely errs on the side of higher performance. Farr Yacht Design is 100% focused on producing a fast boat that performs in all wind ranges and conditions. The concept, hull form and sail plan have been specifically designed for the short-handed sailing market, utilising years of experience in that space, to deliver fun, and fast performance sailing. It was never designed with Paris 2024 directly in mind, but to re-stamp Farr into this bracket after the mighty (and hugely successful) Mumm30.

Moreover, this is a new boat bristling with the latest thinking arriving into this burgeoning market, which has literally exploded in the last couple of years. This contrasts distinctly with many of the other designs in this size range, which have been around for the last couple of seasons.

Note here also that none of the other vessels in this category are a purpose-built offshore two-handed pure racer. Most of them are well over three tonnes, the X2 by Farr is by far the lightest, coming it at just 2.5 tonnes, with more power, and is stiffer.

Recent developments include more uphill power, increased sail area, and she'll plane downwind in lighter airs, so as to gain the maximum return from the rating differential that you pay for the speed. She will be more fun earlier, then you can hang on as the breeze goes up range, and you'll be able to use it all (and not grade the ocean surface) for a true yeehaa time. She is the genuine all round performer, either inshore or off, short-handed or fully crewed.

"We took a common sense approach to the set of rules; she will not be a cruiser/racer. Remember that furniture costs a lot of money as well, so it's all about simplicity with pipe cots, a single burner, and a removable head to meet basic rating requirements. You'll sail the X2 by Farr to her inherent, in-built performance, not matched to targets and polars that are set to meet a certain rating number. This is a philosophy obtained by studying the shift towards more performance-based designs within the ratings game by the Farr office."

The team is entering the production phase right now, with the deck and systems layout nearly sorted, so expect the build button to be pushed very soon, I'd say. It also appears as though an owner-run class association will be formed and in place in the very near future, and this will include an OD sail plan.

"Yes, another of the exciting developments is the owner class in specific regions. It could include One Design tour event formats that will run over four to six weekends with a 40 to 50nm offshore race one day, and then windward/leeward races in the particular area the next day. They are even considering offering short-handed or crewed divisions."

Perry added, "You could say I have been a bit selfish about this design, because I'm going to sail it. I love sailing as fast as I can, and I am not going to miss out on all the fun. In saying this, I don't want anyone else too, either. Adrenalin-fuelled rides are on offer here. I plan to push Hull #1 hard to learn the boat, and be a part of what is going to be an extremely exciting design and class."

In talking with Perry you do get to feel the enthusiasm Farr Yacht Design have for the X2. So much so you that you will definitely have to book a ride for a demonstration, because he'll be out sailing it all the time...

To get amongst it contact Bret Perry at Farr Yachts Australasia, email - it will be worth it!!!

Our Managing Editor, Mark Jardine, gives us a little idea as to the developments at Sail-World: "We've been busier than ever creating and sourcing content to keep all our readers on Sail-World entertained. We've hosted Round 1 of The Lockdown Cup, which had possibly the greatest line-up of UK dinghy sailing talent assembled on the same virtual race course, and The Whitbread Round the World Race films have proved extremely popular, with the 89-90 race being the latest available. We've continued our 'In conversation with' videos, most recently talking with Vaikobi's Pat Langley and Sail Exchange's Carl Crafoord. On the lighter side, the first episode of Happy Hour with Stretch & Stir Fry saw our hosts chat with Olympian and Volvo Ocean Race winner Ian Walker. It's all clearly proving popular as our website sessions are 58.5% up on the same period last year."

Right oh - there is plenty of information on the website for you to review when you can. Please avail yourself of it.

Now if your class or association is generating material, we can help you spread your word just by emailing us. Got this newsletter from a friend? Would you like your own copy next week? Just follow the instructions on our newsletter page. Whilst there, you can also register for other editions, like Powerboat-World.

Finally, keep a weather eye on Sail-World. We are here to bring you the whole story from all over the world...

John Curnow
Editor, Sail-World AUS

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