Boating NZ



Young Aussie couple, Riley Whitelum and Elayna Carausu went from backpacker­s to superstar sailors via their video posts on Youtube. These gleaned them enough subscriber­s (a staggering 1.6 million) to enable them to sail full time. Recently, their fame was extended when they took teenage environmen­tal activist Greta Thunberg across the Atlantic in order to reduce her carbon travel emissions.

The couple began their sailing life on a small monohull and then an Outremer catamaran before ordering the Rapido 60. “We started looking to upgrade and while I wanted a boat that could go fast, I’m much more interested in average crossing times. I mean, it’s good fun to go fast but that’s the least important on my list of things. I want to be able to go at a good pace safely,” said Riley.


After an extensive 18-month global search, well-documented on their Youtube channel, the family flew to New Zealand in 2019 for a sea trial with Paul Koch on the Rapido 60 Romanza, owned by Dougall and Jaz Love. The couple were duly impressed, as Riley recalls: “I know that the Rapido sails unbelievab­ly well, which is the main thrust behind all of our decision making… The only thing I was worried about was the amount of space on board.”

However, after visiting Romanza the couple were more than happy. “When you’re standing in the saloon, you’re actually standing in a huge room.” The couple has just had their second child, so Elayna had her own priorities for the new boat: “One thing that is really important for us with the trimaran is that Riley can sail it single-handed because we will have two kids on the boat.”

The new boat will be named La Vagabonde III and launch in 2022. www.lavagabond­

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