Lorita Maria’s design was commissioned in 1962 from Alan Payne by Sydney, NSW owner, Norman Rydge Jr, and named after his wife. At this time Payne had been working on the design of the America’s Cup 12 metre Gretel and employed ideas he had learnt from tank testing that design, especially in the shape of the keel. It was built by Jeff Clist
Payne specified a glued, double-planked hull, with closely spaced frames. The yacht was heavily built all round and had a low ballast ratio. It derived form stability from its beamy, hard-bilged hull shape.
In its first season it won the 1963-64 Ocean Racing Points Score at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, was third in the 1963 Sydney To Hobart race, and managed a fourth place in its class in the light weather 1965 Fastnet Race in the United Kingdom. It generally carried a crew of six including the skipper.