The new Fairlie 55 was successfully lifted into the water on Thursday becoming the first of the Spirit of Tradition class of quality sailing yachts to be launched by Fairlie. The finely crafted yacht was transferred from Fairlie’s premises at Hamble Yacht Services to be lifted into the River Hamble under glorious sunshine. She is now moored alongside for the last stages of the production process, with her rig due to be stepped in the next couple of days and final finishing being undertaken ahead of sea trials over the coming weeks. Fairlie’s Duncan Walker said: “It’s phenomenal what the team has achieved in the last seven months. I’ve been immensely proud of the work everyone has put in to ensure the whole process has been carried out to the very highest standard and on schedule. Now the most important thing is to go for a sail and we’re confident that her performance will live up to her looks.” Following the successful turning of the hull in March, the build has progressed to plan and within weeks the yacht will be turning heads in the Solent as sea trials get underway. Designer Paul Spooner said he was pleased to see the launch go so smoothly after such an intense period of preparation. “As a designer it is always a big day when the boat finally gets wet, but everything went to plan and we’re now looking forward to putting her through her paces under sail,” he said. Following sea trials and visits from potential buyers, the Fairlie 55 will be transported to the South of France for an official launch at the Cannes International Boat and Yacht Show, which runs from 6-11 September. The Fairlie 55 will be on display in the Vieux Port giving visitors the chance to preview the yacht in a world-class setting. Alastair Shove of Ancasta Yachts, the exclusive international sales agents for the Fairlie 55, said: “We’re delighted to see the first Fairlie 55 successfully lifted into the water on schedule today and look forward to showing our clients her superb performance to match her stylish looks over the coming weeks both in the Solent and at Cannes.” As the first boat was lowered into the water, plans were already underway to commence the build of the next Fairlie 55. “Within the next two weeks we’ll start to laminate the frames for the next boat, so there’ll be little let up on the workload,” Duncan Walker said. To follow the final stages of the Fairlie 55 build visit www.fairlieyachts.com The Spirit of Tradition yachts will comprise the Fairlie 55, the Fairlie 66, the Fairlie 78 and the Fairlie 110.