Romanza (Rapido 60) has claimed Line Honours in Race 1 of the Lewmar 2021 SSANZ Triple Series in New Zealand on 10 July 2021. Below, Romanza’s owner, Dougall Love, provides some insight into Romanza’s performance in the 67nm race which Dougall and Brent Gribble completed in 7:00:58 hrs. [Screenshot above from official race video which can be seen further below or by clicking here.]

We had a pretty good 2-handed race on Saturday, 10 July 2021.

Cold day, however, with a southerly breeze blowing up from the Antarctic.

Decent fleet of 159 boats split into three separate starts with the fastest boats starting last, 30 minutes after the first boats.

The first 1/3 of the race had all boats sailing the same course and then some of us went on further and returned via a longer course.

We started in around 10 knots of breeze with our big Asymmetric sail up and rapidly passed a lot of the earlier starters. By the time we dropped that sail and changed to our Code Zero – sheeted in tight to head 30 miles up and around an island at the far end of our course – we had passed 158 boats.

We had a good gap on the nearest competitors, as well as multihulls which included the much hyped 60ft, Kotuku.

We hit our top speed of the day (19.7 knots) on that leg. We continued to extend our lead under our big A-sail on the next downwind leg of some 25 miles.

Unfortunately, we had a problem at the end of that leg where we couldn’t get the big A-sail down! Given the sail is 297 sq/m in area, that’s quite a scary thing! However, after some time working on it, I discovered that the halyard jammer was the issue rather than something at the top of the mast and we were able to clear it. Phew!!

By that time, three of our competitors had passed us but with the last 20 miles being on the wind, we were able to gradually overhaul them and finished 12 minutes ahead of the next boat (and 36 minutes ahead of the first TP52).

What was fantastic was how easy the Rapido 60 was to manage with just two of us.

We do have to think ahead and manage everything step-by-step to a set procedure of course, but with electric winches, autohelm and the easy to manage layout, nothing is hard even with sails the size of our A-sail.

The boat is also very forgiving. It wasn’t just a steady breeze but puffy, which means it occasionally pressed to the max given we were flying our big gear. But, even when pressed, we always felt in complete control.

Upwind, Romanza was just fantastic: always fast, easy to tack and consistent.

When the breeze dropped away we were able to maintain a much higher average and point closer to the wind than the catamarans. What a great boat!

I had a friend sailing on a different boat and his mother was watching the race on the tracker. She said to him, “It was lovely to see you racing dear, but why can’t you get a fast boat like that Roman thing?”

Footnote: Romanza was not stripped out for the race. Our dinghy was tucked up on her davit and we still had the washing machine onboard – just a fast cruising boat!

Video above: see 0.39mins and 5.33mins for spectacular shots of Romanza in Race 1, Lewmar SSANZ Triple Series 2021.

Credits for Rapido Video above

Video by Rapido Trimarans, 19 July 2021.