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The Class

The Figaro Bénéteau Class

A One Design Offshore Racing Class circuit

Following years of Half Tonner racing, 9 metre long racing yachts representing the design and technology platforms of their era, the cost controls and competitive level of every new design rendered the racing less interesting. The idea of an annual championship circuit with a One Design platform began to develop in the minds of the sports leaders at the time. And so appeared a Berret/Finot Beneteau built boat, the Figaro Beneteau, the first of its name. This was followed by the establishment of a class association grouping, skippers, owners and event organisers, The Figaro Beneteau Class Association.
On board this One Design boat generations of sailors have followed each other into the Figaro Beneteau Circuit, an unique annual racing circuit that has and continues to welcome professional and amateur sailors from the four conrers of the world.  


The Figaro Beneteau 3, modern, reliable and fast 

In 2003 the Figaro Beneteau 1 was superseeded by the Figaro Beneteau 2. This new Marc Lombard-designed Beneteau built One Design boat had been specified by and for the singlehanded sailors who had cut their teeth through years of super-competitive offshore racing since the arrival of the first One Design.
The Figaro Beneteau 2 was a hugely successful platform that allowed the class to contiunue to thrive as the sector became more and more professional and competitive through the annual circuit now with the title of the French Elite Offshore Racing Championship.
Solo and two-handed, round the cans round the coast and across the Atlantic.

Following 17 years of great racing in 2019 it was time to introduce the Figaro Beneteau 3 and see the class continue to evolve alongside the spectacular growth in the popularity of shorthanded offshore racing. A milestone in modern yacht building as the new One Design boat was the first ever production boat to be fitted with foils.


The Figaro Beneteau Circuit

The Figaro Beneteau racing circuit is a particularly well rounded circuit in that it consists of racing in the three disciplines of offshore sailing, singlehanded, two-handed and fully-crewed (4). Amongst the competitions that make up the annual and bi-annual programme are inshore short course events, overnighters, itinerant events touring the coast, serious offshore races lasting 3-5 days each and the three landmark events the Solitaire du Figaro Paprec (3-4 legs of 600 mile legs running over a month each year late summer), the Tour Voile (two weeks of intense racing with four crew on board (gender and youth quotas) sailed over inshore, coastal and 24 hour long legs over the first two weeks of July each year) and the once every two years Transat Paprec transatlantic race (a non-stop 4000 miles long race from Concarneau to St Barthelemy in the French Carribean with a mixed two handed crew starting in April each odd-numbered year).

The Figaro Beneteau Class Association in association with the French Sailing Federation (FFV) controls the format and structure of the French Elite Offshore Racing Championship. The championship ranking is calculated from the five events of the annual circuit loading them with points based ontheir complexity. The champion is the most rounded and truly the most complete offshore sailor of the year crowend through consistency. With a One Design platform it is the skipper and the sailors that make the difference and not the boat. Thirty three years later, the original concept is as ever relevant.


The basic philosphy of the Figaro Beneteau Class is strictly One Design with tightly controlled and inspected boats.