The designer’s boat with dreads has won five Barcolanas in a row!


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share 640 2015 ph max ranchi (credit)There is a Barcolana, in the spotlight: that of the Maxi yachtsmen with the great sailors on board, that of mayors, actors and entertainers. The one they usually show us. And then there is the Barcolana, the “real” one, the one of the little ones: a hidden Barcolana, full of passion and enthusiasm and full of beautiful stories worth telling. That of the “Mule” and its designer with dreads, Paolo Bua. A boat that has won the world’s most famous regatta five times in a row since 2012 in its class. (photo by Max Ranchi)

share 650 2015 ph max ranchi (91)
ph. Max Ranchi

The boat in question is the XO Racer, which used to be called Share 640 and at the time of the conceptual phase of the project was called “Mule” by two of the project members. It was October 10, 2010, and four friends met at the Barcolana for the passion of sailing, especially sports but sailing. The dream of having a fast and, above all, easy boat results in a promise: “we will make ourselves a boat with which going out will be a pleasure, it will be easy, it will be fun, and it will excel in racing.”

Paul Bua

Thus, behind beers and the warm fireplace was born the Mulo (a name not really appreciated by two of the four friends), beautiful, fast, easy to build, essential and with an ambitious program, to win the Barcolana in the ninth class and to run for fun when you go out for a ride. The Mule was born, Paolo (Paolo Bua, pictured) is the technician of the group, he has clear ideas, and the inputs that Tony (Antonio Scarpa), Adriano (Condello) and Mimmo bring to the project are incredibly shared by all.

Antonio Scarpa and Adriano Condello

Only the name doesn’t go down well with Tony and Adriano (pictured opposite), from Trieste, who also associate that typical name with the area’s less-than-elegant etymology even though time has softened the meaning is has made it joking (“Mulo: The strange term that impresses outsiders and embarrasses the people of Trieste”). And so behind a thousand considerations and ideas the group chooses the best ones and from the pencil of Paolo Bua here is the first draft of the “Mule.” Tony and Adriano start the construction Paul and Mimmo support it from afar, some with quotas and specifications, some with suggestions and solutions to arrive at a simple but adequate construction.

ph. Andrea Carloni
ph. Andrea Carloni

And then the launching and the surprise, it is as he imagined: fast and easy. Yes easy, it seems like nonsense for a sport boat but it is so balanced that it carries easily and even the less experienced are comfortable. It is fast with little, air, it is a “shot” with arion. Everything always in ease, bringing it well is within the reach of many. And so the little boat since 2012 always wins the Barcolana in the ninth class, beats even the first of the in higher categories, and the Barcolana is not the only regatta in which it excels. At the 2015 Barcolana rounds the first buoy sixth, and this year there are 3 XO Racers present and they take first, second and third place in class.

Today four of these boats sail and the project was purchased by a Swiss shipyard, XO Sailers. The promotion of what is now called XO Racer began at the Grand Pavois in La Rochelle last September and has garnered unhoped-for attention. From next spring, a demo boat will be available and curious people will be able to try the assumptions of the project of the mules “Adriano, Tony, Paolo” and also “Mimmo” in person.


Overall length 6.45 m
Maximum beam 2.5 m
Displacement 450 kg
Ballast 180 kg
Draught 0.50/2.00 m
Sup. Mainsail 22 sqm
Sup. Jib 11 sqm
Sup. Code Zero 20 sqm
Sup. Asymmetrical 50 sqm



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