Shouldn’t we be at the point where this kind of thing just doesn’t happen to boats like this?

The first Farr X2 – a yacht specifically designed for two-handed offshore racing – has been lost during a shakedown sail off the Australian coast. Hull #1, named Nexba, was yesterday trying to complete the required 100nm ocean passage to qualify for the Sydney-Gold Coast race starting on July 30.

The keel either broke, or fell off, in testing conditions and the 30-footer turned turtle. The crew was rescued by a Royal Australian Navy helicopter. The keel either broke, or fell off, in testing conditions and the 30-footer turned turtle. The crew was rescued by a Royal Australian Navy helicopter. The hull – without rig or sails – has since washed up on a beach South of Sydney and the $205,000 yacht is presumably a total write-off.

Conditions in the area had been tough for the past three days with large seas and up to 30 knots of wind. 

The boat carried substantial sail area, balanced by a 1,970lb bulb on a 6.7ft cast iron keel. The design also incorporates 2 x 250 litre water ballast tanks.

No good purpose is served by hasty speculation as to what caused the loss until a thorough investigation can be conducted. But the incident comes as a major blow to Farr Yacht Design, the manufacturers and the local importer/agent.

The Farr website entry advertising the X2 boasts that the yacht is “engineered to be robust enough for the most demanding offshore races in the world.”

Maybe they should have added that the boat “should be engineered to be robust…”



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