The following article, “Ineffable’s Steve Bourne: ‘I’m a nutter for sailing’ ” was written by Robert Luckock and published in the Daily Herald on 26 February 2019. It is reproduced below with permission.
Owner of the Rapido 60 trimaran Ineffable, Steve Bourne, strikes one as being one happy go lucky guy. A quote from the late Heineken Regatta photographer Bob Greiser immediately comes to mind: “I’m in the cocktail hour of life”, Bob once said during one of many press boat outings. That could apply to Steve.
Bourne’s attempt to walk off with two Mount Gay Rum promo girls he was photographed with at the prize giving for the Caribbean Multihull Challenge seems to confirm the joie de vivre (joy of living). “I thought they were the prize”, he laughed.
The 62 year old Hong Kong-based award-winning architect and solar energy entrepreneur (unofficially retired) finds himself unwittingly entering a new phase of life, sailing around the world, as much as possible, hence his arrival in the Caribbean and to St. Maarten for the first time.
The impetus for this decision came from the purchase of Ineffable over which he is in raptures. The Morrelli & Melvin-designed trimaran he purchased in Las Palmas, he exclaimed with gusto, is the “fastest, most comfortable production cruising trimaran in the world”.
“I’d never dreamed of doing this, to sail around the world. It wasn’t in my vocabulary”, Bourne explained. “But I watched the videos and decided to buy the Rapido in May, 2018.
“That changed everything. I hadn’t even considered crossing oceans before, but this is a fast, stable platform. You can do 60 mile trips in four hours averaging 15 knots.”
“At about 15 knots, the hulls have 50 tons of lift compared to a TP52 which is about eight tons. You can imagine the power of the hulls. We did a nose dive into a huge wave and the hulls just popped out before we came out at the bottom doing 22 knots. No pitch pole at all – so safe. It’s designed for forward buoyancy.”
Bourne brought the prototype, Ineffable, from Las Palmas to Barbados where they did their first regatta and from there, they covered the 450 miles to St. Maarten in three days.
“She’s so much fun to sail”, he enthused. “We hate to be sitting at a mooring. This is the most well-balanced boat I’ve ever sailed. And it’s a live aboard. My cabin is bigger than my room in Hong Kong. And I even sleep in the forward cabin going to windward.”
His crew he said are “picked up along the way”, although there are key crew members who have worked on the boat since the beginning. Ineffable, by the way means “too great or intense to be expressed in words” – a fitting name for this boat.
They are entered for the Heineken Regatta (click here for results of Heineken Regatta in which Ineffable came second) but were not ready for the Caribbean 600. They also plan to do the BVI and Antigua Regattas. If Bourne has one criticism about the first Multihull Regatta organization, it was over the “ambiguity” in the written sailing instructions and diagrams.
Bourne has been living in Hong Kong for 33 years and sailed a variety of boats all his life. His resume includes a fourth in the British Nationals and sixth in the World’s in 1979-80. He has a sport boat, a Magic 25, similar to a Melges 24 but with three trapezes. He formerly was skipper of Free Fire, Roy Disney’s former MaxZ86 Pyewacket, which featured in the Heineken Regatta years ago.
“I’ve left my girlfriend and my dog, a real sailing dog, back in Hong Kong to chase this dream which is becoming a reality”, he admitted. “I was getting bored. My plan is to get the Caribbean done, then do the East side, then back to the Mediterranean, and I would love to go to the Baltic. I have many friends in Sweden.
“Then, I will come back and do the western islands above Venezuela, then across to Hawaii and New Zealand where the sister boat (Romanza) is. We can do some match racing with her there, then go up to Fiji and eventually Indonesia and Hong Kong.
“By that time, I’ll be ready for a rest”, he said breathlessly.
“I’m a complete nutter for sailing as you can tell.”
Acknowledgements and related articles
The article above, “Ineffable’s Steve Bourne, ‘I’m a nutter for sailing’ ” by Robert Luckock was published in the Daily Herald on 26 February 2019 and is reproduced here with permission.