Richard Chadburn has been Farfalla’s Captain since the yacht’s construction. He started sailing in dinghies 30 years ago and won the ISO Worlds in France in 1999. After university he spent three summers in Greece and Spain, teaching dinghy sailing, windsurfing and keel boating. Richard then progressed into the world of superyachts and fell in love with the mixture of excitement, entertaining and high standards that a large yacht requires. He has been skippering yachts for over 13 years now and loves having guests on board, showing them lovely quiet anchorages, great places to eat and going on great sails.
You started your sailing career as a racer on board dinghies. How has this influenced your professional career?
I have found that it has given me a lot of confidence but also humility; there’s always someone else out there you can learn from and it’s great to sail with others and pick up new ways of doing things.
We know you’ve worked on board several yachts both motor and sail: what prompted you to remain on board sailing yachts?
It’s more fun! Quite simply everyone enjoys it more, from guests to crew, you feel a camaraderie that you just don’t get on motor boats. On sailing boats the journey is just as important as the destination, something I’ve always enjoyed.
You defined yourself a “leader of an ultimate band” now spending your time finding unexpected groups to be the audience: what attributes must a band have to be “ultimate” to achieve the success you are renowned for?
I think “ultimate” and “success” are terms that should be used very loosely with this band! We like to play music and love it
when our guests join in; being able to play something is probably the first attribute.
How did your story with Southern Wind Shipyard begin and how did that lead you to SW102 Farfalla? What do you think is special about her?
I was put forward for the job by Angus Fuller, the captain of Matelot, after one of his charter guests decided to buy a boat. I was involved with Farfalla from very early on in the build process and I have to say that having spent two years on board and covered over 35,000 miles what I love about Farfalla is her ability to be “all things to all men”. She’s easy to sail with great performance and very comfortable, a great all rounder and easily the best bluewater yacht I’ve ever sailed.
Farfalla is a commercial yacht that alternates private, charter and regattas: how does this flexibility affect the boat and crew management?
It’s intensive from an organisational point of view and I spend a lot of time behind my computer! However it does make the program much more interesting and fun for myself and the crew.
We love the difference of a racing/cruising program, seeing the owners on one trip then charter guests on another and then to go racing on top of this, it makes for a fast paced season and in fact we feel that time just rushes by, we’re never bored!
The only issue that arises out of racing is the time required to get the boat ready; it’s interesting changing the boat between modes but it is time intensive so you end up with less time to cruise. The up side is that you get involved with upgrading the boat so that it performs better, this is always an interesting exercise and you get to work with some great people.
What would you recommend to a skipper facing a world tour?
Talk to as many captains as possible, buy as many spare parts as your owner will allow and make sure you have lots of time for everything, don’t rush the experience.
You’ll need time to investigate places because there is only so much information, the rest you have to go and experience yourselves – that’s the great bit about travelling to this part of the world, it truly is an adventure for everyone concerned.
After a satisfying cruising Caribbean season, the yacht is currently sailing the most fascinating and remote seas of the Pacific Ocean: how would you define them? Can you describe the itinerary?
Who and on which criteria the different legs of the journey have been selected?
The Pacific is vast. It’s hard to define but the word that comes out the most is adventure. For the most part this is still a relatively untouched part of the world, in fact there are less people here
now than 200 years ago. Our itinerary takes us along the downwind passage from Panama to New Zealand and takes in the Galapagos, Marquesas, the Tuamotu Atolls, the Society islands including Tahiti and Bora Bora and finally Fiji. These are the must see spots along the journey and in fact one season doesn’t really do it justice. This is a massive area and you could easily spend several years down
What are Farfalla’s plans for the future? And yours?
My plans and Farfalla’s are hopefully the same! We’re on our way to NZ for the summer and then we ship back to Europe for that summer, where we’ll be entering our first European regattas.
This will be a very exciting time for the boat and although we’ll be sad to leave the Pacific, having the opportunity to race in Sardinia, Palma and St Tropez is not to be missed.
Would you list the Top 10 places not to be missed in the Pacific (islands, villages, bays, restaurants, activities)?
1. Puamau, Hiva Oa, Marquesas, site of the largest Tiki and Marea in Hiva Oa, a fascinating village and historical area at the end of the world! Our guide Pifa described life here, before the Europeans turned up, in exquisite detail.
2. Dolphin Bay, Tauhata, Marquesas, top secret location.
3. South Pass, Fakarava, Toamotus, a world famous dive site. In any dive you’ll see over 200 sharks just metres away from you – stunning location
4. Mani’s Pizza Restaurant, South Pass, on its own private island. The pizza oven is over the water and you eat your food next to baby sharks.
5. Toau, Toamotus. Just in case you need to really get away from anywhere.
6. Rainforest walk, Tahiti – the interior of Tahiti is stunning and makes you feel you’re in the jungle.
7. Horse riding through the heart of Moorea’s pineapple plantations
8. David’s world famous “in the water BBQ” in Huahine, an afternoon of many experiences.
9. Sailing a super yacht around Tahaa – there aren’t many islands you can circumnavigate whilst inside the reef – a memorable experience!
10. Arriving in Bora Bora and diving with the Manta Rays.
Sardinia is one of those rare places in the world where the air is clean, the mountains are still wild, the sea is crystal clear and the local people live to 100 years or more. The traditional dishes typically include no more than three or four ingredients; all produced on the island. And, of course, a bottle of locally made wine is always nearby. The classic Italian song Felicità – ‘happiness’ – sums up the Italian love affair with simple food. It’s a song about the joy to be found in a sandwich and a glass of wine. - Lady Owner SW82 Feelin’Good
Our anchorage in Motu Vaiorea is in crystal clear water 8 meters deep with the pounding surf on the outer reef just two hundred meters away. On the other side of us is a lush tropical jungle with white sand beaches and water so inviting to snorkel and dive. - Owner SW82 Feelin’Good