The Beneteau Figaro 2 is a strict one design class, just over 10 meters long and weighing around 3 tonnes. Almost anything you can think to modify to make the boat faster is controlled by the class rules meaning the racing on the water is incredibly close.
Sam Davies explained the class well on the Dailysail a while ago.
“It is so well known in France for being where everyone starts, but it is also where the good guys go to sharpen up their skills. So you get a mixture of rock stars and people like me who are trying to improve. But the people who come into this class are people from good sailing backgrounds. You’re up against people who have been winning in the class they were in previously such as dinghy racers, Olympic sailors, guys from all over. So if you want to race against the best it is one of the places to come and do it.
“And the Figaro boat is quite basic – it is not so radical that you’d have to learn anything coming from a Mumm 30 or a 470. It is a basic boat, no asymmetrics, nothing flash, it’s got two rudders so it’s quite stable. It is not easy to handle, but it is easy to manage around a race course for anyone who’s sailed before. There are tricks but there are no tricks to stop you sailing it. So like, say a Mumm 30 – you can spend a lot of time working on rig tuning and sail design – that is the only place where you can make the difference until you go offshore and people start falling asleep…”
Another great reason to sail the Figaro can be seen here.