Finally - the Bruce Farr design Open 60

The Daily Sail catches up with Jean-Pierre Dick and the radical new Virbac
One of the most talked about Open 60s to hit the water was formally launched in Auckland on Sunday - for the new Virbac, belonging to French skipper Jean-Pierre Dick and aimed at winning line honours in next year's Vendee Globe is the first example in the class to come from that titan of yacht design himself, Bruce Farr. When it comes to race boats, Farr Yacht Design are without doubt the world's most profilic yacht design house and it would be tempting to think that in this position they might rest on their laurels and get a little conservative. Not a bit of it. The new Virbac shows that FYD have gone back to basics and created a truly innovative boat that not only draws from the present generation Open 60s, but also from their company's wealth of experience designing America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race boats to maxis, etc etc. Bearing in mind Bruce Farr's preference for narrow boats, the boat is at the wider end of the Open 60 spectrum. Her beam max is similar to the Lombard designs like Sill and Tiscali, but not as wide as the Groupe Finots like Ecover. This is driven by the Open 60 class' outdated rule dictating that an Open 60 must heel by no more than 10deg while at the dock with ballast, be it a swing keel and/or water ballast, fully deployed. "In the Farr tradition, she is a bit finer forward and a bit narrower at the waterline although there is good volume as you move up the hull from the waterline to still allow you to reach well but we opted for some finer, narrower sections forward to help it cut through the waves better," explains Dave Millett, Design Sales and Marketing Manager at Farr Yacht Design.