Flyer is the 68ft S&S-designed ketch that won the 1977/78 Whitbread, and last year returned to racing after four decades following restoration
Flyer is one of those yachts that needs little introduction. Designed for the 1977 Whitbread Race by Sparkman & Stephens for Dutch skipper Conny Van Rietschoten, the 68ft aluminium ketch went on to win overall on corrected time.
Van Rietschoten famously went on to win the 1981/82 race with his larger Flyer II, becoming the only skipper ever to win two of the round the world races, and confirming the Flyer dynasty’s place in yachting history.
Flyer was designed as a one-off, but is an evolution of the successful Swan 65. She gained a couple of feet of waterline length, lost a tonne of displacement, carried more sail area (without any rating penalty), and was beamier aft than the popular Swans. She also sported a fin keel and a