Stefano Nava, the Italian designer for Doyle Sails.

Doyle Sails operates with an extensive, international design team that consists of highly qualified sailors who bring their own knowledge and experience to the team. One of the key designers that work with several lofts around the world is New Zealand based Italian, Stefano Nava.

Stefano grew up in Eupilio, a small picturesque village in the North of Italy close to Lake Como, before moving to Genova at 18 years old to study Naval Architecture at the University of Genova. His love for sailing began early when he started sailing with his family in Croatia aboard their cruising yacht. From there took the opportunity to join a Croatian sailing team on their Volvo 60 as they took part in various coastal and offshore races including the Middle Sea Race and the ARC (Atlantic Crossing).

After graduating from the University of Genova, Stefano continued to search for every opportunity to further his sailing career, so when presented with the opportunity to carry out a PhD in Computational Fluid-Dynamics applied to sails aerodynamics at the University of Auckland.

During his time at Auckland University, Stefano received a call from the design team at Doyle Sails looking for students to help with the operation and development of the FSI tools. After sitting next to some of the best sailors and designers in the world that form part of the Doyle Sails team analysing countless results, Stefano began designing his first sails.

As a naval architect by qualification, and as a sailor at heart, the fundamentals of sail design were in place. However, Stefano quickly realised that the level of technicality and detail that is applied to each sail alongside the innovative ideas that are being developed by the team meant it took Stefano a little while to comprehend how it all works fully.

Doyle Sails is well known amongst the Grand Prix and Superyacht circles as the sailmaker breaking the rules, working outside the box and changing sailing as we know it. The design team are responsible for making the innovation successful, and Stefano as a key part of this team has had the pleasure of being involved in the early design phases of many yachts. Stefano now leads his own projects carrying out the preliminary modelling and design work, engineering and the final design in collaboration with the project managers in New Zealand.

Recognising each yacht has its particular set of unique characteristics, the designers at Doyle Sails like Stefano draw on a worldwide pool of veteran sailors and design technology to deliver high performance, innovative solutions for each client.

On the racing scene, there is a consistent flow of exciting race projects to become involved with, projects like this are often analysed in great detail ensuring sail plans are modified and improved for ratings and utilise the latest in racing technology.

Infiniti 46 ‘Maverick’
Reichel Pugh ‘Wild Joe’

Stefano commented on what makes working for Doyle Sails exciting “Everyone in the team is one of the best in his or her fields. It’s very rewarding when you work with some of the best sailors and sailmakers to design fast concepts which then transform into a set of fast sails.

There are a lot of exciting projects on the go, I’ve been working on them for months, and some of them are sailing very soon”.

When Stefano isn’t at work, he spends his time outdoors – sailing on a local TP52, and an 18ft Skiff where he says “sometimes we send it, sometimes we swim”, and if he’s not sailing, you’ll always find him close to the water be it surfing, or kiteboarding.

Learn more about the Doyle Sails Design Team here.

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