If someone asked me what was the the more advanced boat designed 10 years ago, I would probably say the Marc Lombard designed Beneteau Figaro II. Certainly there would be some other few to consider but the Figaro II is one of them and it was not designed 10 years ago but 11 years ago.
The boat is specially interesting because it was conceived not to be a high-end carbon top carbon racer but to be an affordable offshore racing boat with a great performance and on top of that, a solo race boat.
Marc delivered once more an incredible boat that is today one of the most popular offshore racers around. Lot's of cruisers are patiently waiting the boat to be substituted for a more modern racer as a Figaro class boat, to turn them in affordable fast cruisers...but their patient is becoming thin because the boat continues to be actual.
The 10.15m Figaro II is light for a non carbon boat, with 3030kg (MSC), was a considerable ballast ratio (36%) suplemented by two liquid ballasts of 220L, 2.20m of draft, 68m2 upwind (with a genoa) and 123m2 downwind with a spi.
It has a contemporary hull, two rudders, a torpedo keel and a modern transom, adapted not only to the downwind conditions they find on the transat, but to the variable winds and upwind sailing they they encounter on the Figaro race and Med races. It offer a great directional stability for solo racing and a good maneuverability in regatta conditions, two characteristics that are many times opposed. Off course, he still has all those hull characteristics that today are typical not only on racing boats but also on some performance cruisers, but 11 years ago he was pretty much the only one with them, at least in what regards small racing boats ;-) Chapeau Mr Lombard.
Chapeau also to Beneteau that has been able to build hundreds of them with a very consistent quality. It is not the same thing to build a race boat or a cruising boat and Beneteau had showed that it was able to maintain the narrower control quality needed to build race boats.
As tribute to this boat and all the great sailors that have sailed it and still sail, I decided to have on this post a kind of best off of Figaro II videos. It will be actualized with time. If you have other suggestions post them as comments (the link) and I will add the here.