Clients on Romanza are turning heads on the racetrack when they’re not cruising at high speed.
Clients Dougall and Jaz Love are co-owners of the Rapido 60 Trimaran, Romanza, but their sailing backgrounds couldn’t be more different. While Dougall is more of a racer, Jaz is experienced in motor yachts and new to the sailing scene. Fortunately, Romanza provides both high-speed racing excitement and comfortable, easy cruising. And ever since their first trip around North Island in New Zealand, about 1,400nm, they are both completely hooked.
The Engine above Deck
Romanza is equipped with a full suite of North Sails 3Di upwind, two asymmetrical spinnakers, and a Code Zero. The entire downwind wardrobe runs on furlers for easy handling. Adding an A2 and recutting a smaller A2 into an A3 has significantly helped performance. Dougall explains that the upwind headsail is self-tacking, and maneuvers are more effortless with electric winches, halyard locks, and KZ furlers. “It’s a great setup—straightforward and also robust.”
Romanza has a Southern Spars rotating wing mast, ECsix carbon rigging, and a full suit of 3Di upwind. Dougall especially loves the shape of their 3Di ENDURANCE mainsail and jib. “You can ‘trim and forget’ compared to traditional sails, and the shape is consistent. Sail shape is something North Sails does well, and I am constantly amazed at the loads they can handle, particularly upwind. Our righting moment is around 60 tonnes/meter, and the sails can be fully loaded but do not stretch or strain.”
3Di’s longevity is also quite important to them, Dougall continues. “We’ve customized our sails by adding batten retainers and UV protection, and I am amazed we’ve had no issues, as we have put our upwind wardrobe to the test.”
Their ‘go to’ sail for both racing and cruising is the Code Zero. “Although it’s relatively large, it is also versatile. We can sheet it in like a genoa if we’re sailing upwind in the lighter conditions, we can sheet it halfway for closer reaching angles, and we can ease it out on a broad reach if we don’t feel like putting up an A-Sail.”
The Code Zero is also ideal for building apparent wind, which the Rapido Tri’s are designed for. “Some of our trans-Tasman crossings, we’ve had 24-hour averages approaching 300 miles – not bad for a cruising boat.”
Romanza has been using that speed on the local racecourse, too. “Andrew Wills and Ben Costello at North Sails Auckland have been accommodating and easy to work with,” says Dougall. “Having sails you can rely on, and expertise you can trust is a major ‘comfort zone’ factor for us.”
Over time, the couple has learned to push the boat to higher speeds without sacrificing safety. Even cruising, they have been surprised by the high daily averages they can maintain and pleased by their ability to dodge bad weather when needed. “The speed comes from a great design and simple but sophisticated setup,” says Dougall. “She doesn’t take much to go fast, although our concept of ‘fast’ has changed significantly since our pre-Rapido days!”
The Right Collaboration
Triac Composites have been building Rapido 60s since 2015. Co-founder Richard Eyre says they looked to the North Technology Group (NTG) to provide a premium package for each model; Phil Johns, the company’s General Manager, agrees. “We want the best, and we knew that NTG would be the best fit for Rapido clients worldwide.”
Richard explains why choosing North Sails as a partner was an easy decision: “You can guarantee nothing but the best. NTG supplies the very best racing and cruising sails with North Sails and a state-of-the-art rig with Southern Spars and Future Fibers rigging– it’s the obvious choice for our line of trimarans.”
Phil adds that North Sails would be the standard premium option for all their clients in an ideal world. “No other sailmaker out there is as advanced technologically. The analysis of North Design Suite (the most powerful and diverse sail designing tool in the industry) for sailmaking is far ahead of the competition. It’s a known fact.”
Why choose a Rapido Trimaran?
First on the couple’s list was to cruise the world on a boat that wasn’t constantly ‘leaning.’ Second was to be competitive when they felt like racing. So the boat had to be stable, but also fast.
It also had enough space and amenities to live aboard comfortably, including adequate storage for both crew gear and boat equipment. “The space below the deck is perfect for us, plus two guests,” Jaz says. “Excellent for hosting, and all with a great view. We also love the galley.” She has already gained a lot of trust in their equipment—especially after living through gusts to 62 knots during their seven-week doublehanded Christmas cruise around North Island. “I feel our safety and comfort level has taken a stride since that experience. Nothing failed– and that included our confidence. The entire experience has been an eye-opener for me. With that, we are excited to reach into our well-stocked sail wardrobe closet and light Romanza up with the Code Zero.”
The Rapido 60 is designed for shorthanded sailing, which was also one of the reasons they chose it. The helm station is covered and offers protection from weather which is great for overnight passages or wet conditions. “Reefing the main is simple,” says Dougall, “and the boat will still make way with haste.” All adjustments can be made from the comfort of the cockpit. One thing Dougall appreciates is the autopilot. “You tell it where you want to steer to, and it takes care of the rest. The displays are easy to read, so anyone on watch can make coffee and not worry about managing changes. It can’t get easier than that.”
So how is the Rapido performance on the race track? Romanza recently claimed victory in New Zealand’s 230nm Yates Cup. Dougall commented, “We were 30 miles from the finish line, challenging the record set by the 60′ Orma, Vodafone in 2014. Unfortunately, the wind died, so no record, but we still finished in just over 24 hours and celebrated a well-deserved win with Kiwi lamb shanks prepared by Jaz in the galley during the race.”
Another major victory to highlight is when Romanza took line honours and overall corrected time in the 130nm Auckland Tauranga Centennial Race just last month, finishing in 10 hours, 42 minutes, and 46 seconds in PHRF. Their top competitor was a Volvo 65 (NZOR), which finished nearly six minutes behind them. “We put 15 minutes on the VO65 in 16-22 knots on the first 35-mile leg; it was amazing!”
This video below is from the 2020 PIC Coastal Classic, where Romanza won the multihull division on corrected time and finished 5th line honours.