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Let's go racing

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M.A.T in Turkey are set to build the new Mark Mills penned M.A.T 1340 racer/cruiser - photo © Mills Design

Dear Recipient Name

The joy of the new. Perhaps heightened by all that we have gone through to date, and are yet to conquer when whatever arrives, there is a distinct latent desire to crank it right up.

No matter if the big blue is your thing, hard core windward/leewards gets you fizzed up, or perhaps demolishing the twilight fleet around the cans is enough for you, today we have two utter gems to focus on. One is completely new (M.A.T 1340), and the other is the one that has melted the server ever since we posted the first salvo in, The newest fast 30, by Farr (X2 by Farr).

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The end of the ocean grader

Now don't get me wrong, some of them were pretty good, say the DK46 for example, but they were hardly electric, now were they... Smoothing out waves at terminal velocity has a certain level of appeal in some applications, but if you want to go racing, then you want to have the whip out, right?! Giddy up and all.

Niklas Zennström's Rán FAST40 will be out on the Solent for the RORC Easter Challenge - photo ©
Niklas Zennström's Rán FAST40 - photo ©

For way too long the 40-somethings were constrained by the rules, whilst the 30s (ish), then 50s and upwards (most definitely) had far freer reins. Many tried to crack what seemed all too like cold nuclear fusion, but in the real world the quick 40s were just not able to be sailed to their rating. The result was they went off and created their own show (thank God and all those owner/drivers, too).

Well now perhaps the tables have finally turned, and the more affordable, more approachable, and more economic 40-somethings might just be able to come back and play in the main game. OK. They are not going to be as lary as their super-quick cousins, but then you cannot take a Mercedes-Benz W11 F1 car down to the shops for a carton of milk, either.

Case in point is the very new M.A.T 1340 penned by the gifted Mark Mills, with Gurit doing the engineering. Sound familiar? Well it should, because a lot of the gems from Turkey have this very same DNA. Here's a 44-footer with her max beam carried all the way to the last stanchion at her quarters, a massive prodder, the distinctly raked stick placed at the leading edge of the fin atop the T-bulb keel, and set close to the magic 60/40 mark. No need for the deck sweeper heady to go past that point, then.

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M.A.T in Turkey are set to build the new Mark Mills penned M.A.T 1340 racer/cruiser - photo © Mills Design
M.A.T in Turkey are set to build the new Mark Mills penned M.A.T 1340 racer/cruiser - photo © Mills Design

You can go for the now de rigueur triple head configuration, option her up to a full carbon pre-preg queen over the vinylester E-glass base boat (not sure you'll gain enough to warrant that however), but importantly there is just the one keel, and the one stick. She won't be a furniture showroom, with composites in her capacious below deck accommodations all helping to let her stand on the scales at something like 6800kg. Cool. Now we're talking, and early indications are that she'll rate superbly, so if you have the A-Team on board, then you should kill it.

I like the low rocker, and how the transom is just out of the water in static mode (to gain every little percent with the calculator), yet she'll use every bit from knuckle to the end of the chine (blended in that elliptical Mills kind of way) when the action begins. Me likey this exciting news. Finally a racer/cruiser 40-something for people who don't want to race a 30, nor get into a full TP style programme. Bring it on!

Interested parties in Oceania should contact James MacPhail from Platinum Yachts on +61(0) 408 114 477, please see Ancasta in the UK, and elsewhere around the globe get in touch with the factory.

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Building the X2 by Farr.

Yes. You read correctly. 'Building' and 'X2 by Farr' all in the same sentence. Initial works on getting the moulds built is in place. Two boats will appear first, but there are set to be many thereafter. Bret Perry explains further, "We are working extremely hard to be sailing on Sydney Harbour before Christmas, with an eye on competing in the inaugural Sydney to Auckland Race January 31st next year. From there we move to Europe where we are looking at the Cap-Martinique Trans-Atlantic Race Race in April, which is an IRC Double-Handed race."

The X2 by Farr looks ever more the racer she was always going to be! Project number 857 by Farr Yacht Design BTW - photo © Farr Yacht Design
The X2 by Farr looks ever more the racer she was always going to be! Project number 857 by Farr Yacht Design BTW - photo © Farr Yacht Design

Importantly, Perry and the team at Farr Yacht Design (FYD) have also put in place two key advisory panels to ensure that not only is the boat everything it needs to be, but that the whole ownership experience also reflects the same levels of performance. Think Mumm 30 and Farr 40 to get a handle on those aspects.

Perry detailed, "We have attracted a team of very high profile people to sit on the X2 by Farr Technical Panel. The aims of this is to breakdown the brief, and go through the design, systems and parameters with a microscope to make sure we hit the water at full speed with Hull #1. Secondly, we have the Commercial Panel that consists of a team of business leaders. The Commercial Panel will be responsible for making sure all the behind the scenes operations are first class."

"Not only do we want the X2 by Farr to be the ultimate on water experience we want the whole experience to be enjoyable from initiating the purchase to crossing the finish line - we will be there with you."

Britton Ward, Vice President of Farr Yacht Design, commented as they advance into detailed design now. "Our guiding principles are thus:

High Performance
Want the boat to be dynamic and fun to sail whether double handed or crewed up with minimal interior fit out optimised for short-handed offshore sailing.

Cat1 Races, dedicated life raft stowage, with safe sail handling/depowering from the cockpit. An efficient, but robust construction.

Minimal deck penetrations, good green water treatment, and excellent crew protection.

Cost Effective
We want a boat that is turnkey, and ready to go at an attractive price point."

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The X2 by Farr looks ever more the racer she was always going to be! Project number 857 by Farr Yacht Design BTW - photo © Farr Yacht Design
The X2 by Farr looks ever more the racer she was always going to be! Project number 857 by Farr Yacht Design BTW - photo © Farr Yacht Design

"The design has developed significantly from the early concept renders and has really benefitted from a lot of input from our technical advisory committee that brings a lot of experience from a range of offshore sailing disciplines. There are lots of solutions to different problems, and it is always a big help to us to bounce ideas and incorporate different viewpoints."

"Perhaps the most noticeable change from the early concept is in the deck geometry and layout. We retain the large foretriangle with rig aft to maximize headsail efficiency and go with an aft mounted straight traveler with the mainsheet purchase driven with course and fine tune."

Part of the Farr DNA is performance, and we believe firmly that a light boat is a big part of that. Within the guidelines of cost and efficient construction we'll always want to be on the lighter side to grab a big advantage in transitional plaining conditions. We've explored a range of hulls, including scow bow solutions, and while we think there are advantages for dedicated offshore downwind courses, we still want the X2 to go upwind in a chop, so have moderated the bow sections to retain a finer entry."

"We've used in-house CFD tools to explore different hull shape solutions seeking the elusive low drag hull form for light airs with the right amount of form stability to get up and go. There has been a lot of focus on refining the hull's dynamic trim behavior with heel and speed using CFD simulations. It's essential that the boat is well behaved as it heels and speeds up, because we have a limited ability to shift weight aft, especially in short handed mode", said Ward.

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The X2 by Farr looks ever more the racer she was always going to be! Project number 857 by Farr Yacht Design BTW - photo © Farr Yacht Design
The X2 by Farr looks ever more the racer she was always going to be! Project number 857 by Farr Yacht Design BTW - photo © Farr Yacht Design

"Ideally we'd just be designing the best performing boat we can within the size and budget targets, but the X2 will compete in mixed fleets under different rating systems. While the VPP based systems give a pretty fair assessment reflecting the characteristics of the boat, the single number systems are a bit harder. We know IRC doesn't like small, light displacement boats, and while it does seem to be getting better, it is still a challenge for a single number rule to fairly rate across big ranges of displacement."

"We've been running some IRC trials on the boat and developing initial performance versus rating comparisons with other boats in this market space, so as to better understand the rating landscape. Preliminary IRC numbers of 1.070 - 1.085, a touch higher than we were hoping for, but even at that level our initial performance estimates show the X2 to be easily capable of sailing to its rating. As we complete the next loop of design we think it likely the handicap will drop some, and for those dedicated inshore IRC warriors an IRC optimized sail inventory presents an opportunity to further lower the rating", said Ward reflecting on the multitude of areas to cover off in order to build right the first time.

"Truncating the waterline, making the boat heavier, cutting as much sail area off as we dare, and filling the inside of the boat up with cruiser/racer amenities, as well as going with a large fin keel would all cut the IRC rating down, but at the cost of plenty of performance."

"A safe and dry boat are absolutely key areas of focus on with this boat, so we have gone away from a traditional companionway to a more Mini 6.50 style cockpit and hatch with a protective overhang. We feature a tiered set of coamings to help keep the sailors away from the green water. The house has been shaped to shed green water away from the helm and overboard while retaining excellent visibility below."

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The X2 by Farr looks ever more the racer she was always going to be! Project number 857 by Farr Yacht Design BTW - photo © Farr Yacht Design
The X2 by Farr looks ever more the racer she was always going to be! Project number 857 by Farr Yacht Design BTW - photo © Farr Yacht Design

"Rather than an overly complex pad-eye based sheeting system we have opted for deck mounted tracks that will cover the primary offshore sheeting angles with a barber hauler setup to achieve maximum inboard angles for working close to wind. We want the deck layout to be flexible and allow a range of different cross sheeting options, so a lot of focus has been placed on achieving good ergonomics and proper line leads."

"As we go through final design we will be continuing to optimise elements so as to achieve the right blend of performance in a range of conditions - always with an eye on the rating impacts", said Ward in closing.

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John Curnow
Editor, Sail-World AUS

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