Image: Photographer John Feder

Image: Photographer John Feder

Ludde Ingvall, Sir Michael Hintze and all the CQS team, ashore and afloat, would like to express our congratulations to John Feder, the photographer from The Australian newspaper, who recently won an award for his photograph of CQS. We also thank him very much for the great work he did, going above and beyond the normal line of duty, to get the photo from the top of the mast.

John, who works for The Australian in Sydney has been honoured at the 2017 Newspaper of the Year Awards for this stunning image, Up the Mast, which took home the top prize in the Sport Photography National/Metropolitan category. The image features New Zealand Olympic Gold Medallist sailor and CQS crew member, Jo Aleh up the mast of CQS on Sydney Harbour, during preparations for last year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.

Describing the background to getting the photo John said, “one of the crew members told me it was time to harness up so I could be winched to the top of the mast. From there I could shoot looking down at Jo Aleh, the CQS racing yacht and Sydney Harbour.

“What they didn't tell me was that I shouldn’t lean forward in the harness. Of course, that is just what I did — and that resulted in the harness riding in my back and me being dragged to the top of the mast basically by my groin by two ropes.

“When Jo finally climbed the mast she could see the terror in my eyes and she shouted down to the crew to lower me on to the spreader bars, so I could get back in my bosun’s chair and take the picture.”

Jo Aleh 'Up the Mast' - Award winning image courtesy of John Feder (The Australian) 

Jo Aleh 'Up the Mast' - Award winning image courtesy of John Feder (The Australian) 

John said it was one of the most terrifying experiences of his career, which includes working in Iraq, Afghanistan and East Timor.

Sir Michael Hintze, founder and chief executive of CQS, commented, “we are delighted that John has been properly recognised for this great photograph and we were thrilled when it featured on the front cover of the newspaper on Boxing Day.”


Ludde Ingvall’s super maxi CQS crossed the finishing line of the Rolex Fastnet Race, in Plymouth at 03:08.25 this morning, second placed monohull on line honours behind the American boat Rambler 88. Their elapsed time for the course was 2 days, 14 hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds.

On the dockside the skipper said they were lucky to have been able to finish, having suffered damage to one of their foils early in the race. “As we were passing the Needles the top of the canard started to break up,” he admitted, “we have been nursing it all the way around the course.

“I was convinced we wouldn’t get past Portland Bill, but Chris Dickson and the team were determined to keep going, and did a great job of getting us here.”

In the later stages of the race, when they weren’t going to windward, and were not hampered by the damaged foil, the boat achieved good speeds, making very good time from the Lizard Point to the finish.

Sir Michael Hintze, the sponsor, for whom this is only his third ocean race, said the most enjoyable thing for him was seeing the team work and the expertise of the crew. “These guys are the best, their professionalism is impressive and they really work as a great team.”

They managed to hold off serious threats from the 115 foot British boat Nikata, and the very impressive SMA, the French IMOCA 60.

This was Ludde’s eighth Rolex Fastnet Race, having won the race on line honours and handicap in 2001.


The super maxi CQS, skippered by Australian Ludde Ingvall has turned the final corner and is on the home straight in the Rolex Fastnet Race. Still holding onto second place in the monohulls, the team rounded the Bishop Rock, south of the Isles of Scilly just before 20:00 this evening.

Still enjoying a fairly steady 12 to 15 knots of north westerly breeze, CQS was making 11 to 12 knots of boat speed, and hoping to finish in Plymouth at around 03:00 on Wednesday morning.

There is just one more obstacle in their path, that is the tide gate at Lizard Point, the most southerly headland on the English mainland. The team will be punching into adverse tide all the way to this promontory, but the current will turn in their favour soon after midnight.

Watch leader Rodney Keenan reported from on board, “we are getting a few rain squalls coming through, and the wind increases a bit with them, then lightens off in the clear patches.” He also complimented the French team on the IMOCA 60, SMA on sailing a great race.

While the American boat Rambler 88 would appear to have a stranglehold on line honours, though they have slowed dramatically as they approach the finish, CQS’s closes rival for second place across the line, the 115 foot Nikata is some six miles astern.

The request from on board today was to have beer, wine and champagne to be waiting on the dockside when they get in, with burgers and pizzas the favoured option for food.


Ludde Ingvall’s team, competing in the Rolex Fastnet Race on the super maxi CQS, rounded the Fastnet Rock at 06:25 this morning, second on line honours, and turned for the run back to the finish in Plymouth. They reported soon after rounding the famous rock, off the south west coast of Ireland, they were sailing at 14 knots in 15 knots of wind.

The breeze has been fairly consistent all night, and they have maintained their advantage over Nikata, and are looking forward to a fast downwind ride back to the finish.

Speaking from onboard, Kiwi helmsman Chris Dickson commented just before they rounded, “we’ve had a great night on CQS, we’ve got Nikata tucked away safely behind us, we’ve got the Fastnet Rock directly ahead, the sun’s about to come up, and we’re ready to put the spinnaker up and go for home.”

While CQS still trails the American yacht Ramble 88 in the battle for line honours, the conditions for the leg back to Plymouth look much more suitable for Ludde’s high tech boat, and they hope to start reeling in the Americans.

With the breeze forecast to stay in the north for most of the next 24 hours, CQS should be able to fly her massive spinnaker and deploy her foils, at least until they turn east at the Bishop Rock lighthouse.

The team will also have to weave their way through the whole fleet behind them, over 350 boats, still on their way to the rock. Once back in the English Channel there will also be two tide gates to negotiate, at the Lizard Head, and Dodman point.

The current estimated time of arrival in Plymouth is approximately 09:00 on Wednesday morning.


Ludde Ingvall’s Australian super maxi CQS is currently battling for second place on line honours amongst the monohulls, in the Rolex Fastnet Race. Late today Ludde’s team overtook the 115 foot Nikata, but all day the two boats have been sailing as if attached by elastic.

Crew member Michael Rummel commented, “it’s been quite an eventful day. We eventually caught up and passed Nikata, but not before a halyard lock broke, and Alan had to go up the mast and fix it, which slowed us down.

“Earlier in the day we had got frustratingly close to Nikata, but then with our lock problem they got away again. Now we are ahead of them. We also lost a halyard, and the A1 went in the water, but we have retrieved it, and Alan is now up the mast again trying to replace the halyard.”

Also close to CQS and Nikata is the IMOCA 60 SMA, which is sailing a very clever race, while leading the monohulls is Rambler 88.

CQS is now sailing in an 11 to 12 knot north westerly breeze, but they are expecting a wind shift soon, that will allow them to point straight at the Fastnet Rock. The sky has cleared and they are expecting good conditions for the rest of the run to the Rock.

After rounding the famous landmark off the south west coast of Ireland, they will turn for the run back to the finish in Plymouth. The estimated time for CQS to finish is approximately 18:00 on Wednesday.


A fading wind and heavy rain slowed the progress of Ludde Ingvall and his team on CQS in the Rolex Fastnet Race on their first night at sea. The 100 foot super maxi had the benefit of a favourable tide for most of the night, as they sailed west down the English Channel.

At 09:00 BST this morning CQS was approaching Land’s End, the south western most tip of England, and assessing their strategic options for crossing the Celtic Sea to the Fastnet Rock, off the south west coast of Ireland.

As they approached the famous promontory, that marks the end of the English mainland, the breeze dropped to just 4 knots, but they were in a tight race with the 115 foot Nikata, and narrowing the gap with Ramble 88.

The team are expecting to deploy their huge code zero headsail as they round Land’s End, and strike out across the Celtic Sea. They will initially turn north to avoid an exclusion zone, which is designed to keep the fleet out of the busy shipping lanes.

Also in close company with CQS, at this stage of the race is the IMOCA 60 SMA, one of the very high tech boats that are sailed in the Vendee Globe single-handed race around the world.

The breeze is expected to stay light, less than 10 knots, for most of the day, with an increase likely late this afternoon or early evening. These conditions should suit CQS, with her narrow waterline and low wetted surface area.


With sailing legend Chris Dickson of New Zealand at the helm, CQS made a great start to the Rolex Fastnet Race at 12:40 BSTtoday off Cowes on the Isle of Wight. The boat was powered up and going fast when the gun fired at the Royal Yacht Squadron to start the class for the biggest boats in the race.

CQS is one of 32 boats in Class Zero, the last start of the day, so the team on the boat had to thread their way through the 336 smaller and slower boats that had started before them, and by late afternoon only had two boats in their class ahead of them.

Speaking from on board the boat when they were an hour west of Portland Bill, crew member Michael Rummel said, “we have 20 to 22 knots of breeze, and we’re making between 11 and 12 knots hard on the wind, the conditions are a bit stronger than we had hoped for, but the wind is due to drop around midnight.”

Portland Bill is one of the critical promontories on the south coast of England that creates a tide gate, and getting past it in favourable conditions is a huge advantage. CQS didn’t quite get there before the tide turned against them, but tacked away from the coast to minimize the adverse current.

Ludde Ingvall, the skipper, said he was happy that they got out of the restricted waters of the Solent without any incidents, and CQS was now able to stretch her legs and settle into making up time on the boats ahead.

As sun set on the first day of the race, CQS were making their way across Lyme Bay towards the second tide gate at Start Point.


Cowes, Isle of Wight, England

Ludde Ingvall’s CQS picked up the prestigious Queen’s Cup at the end of the Triple Crown series in Lendy Cowes Week. The 120 year old gold trophy was presented by the Royal Southampton Yacht Club, for the maxi racer class in the event.

The skipper was thrilled to receive the trophy at the Royal Yacht Squadron, “We’ve been coming here for many, many years and have always suggested Lendy Cowes Week should create racing suitable for deep draught boats,” said Ingvall. “We shipped the boat from Australia to be here, and this event – the world’s premier regatta – has been fantastic.”

The heavy weather series has proven to be a great warm up event for the Rolex Fastnet race, which starts on Sunday 6th August off Cowes.

Ludde Ingvall is a previous line honours winner of the Rolex Fastnet race, but hasn’t contested the ocean racing classic for a few years, and will face stiff opposition from some of the other maxis and super maxis.

Sir Michael Hintze, the chief executive of CQS, who was onboard the boat for Wednesday’s challenging race around the Isle of Wight, will also be on the crew for the Rolex Fastnet race.

After receiving the Queen’s Cup with Ludde, Sir Michael commented, “wow, what a trophy, there really is a lot of history in this cup, not a bad start.”

The CQS team will have a final shakedown sail on the Solent on Saturday in their preparations for the Rolex Fastnet race.


Cowes, Isle of Wight: 5th August 2017

Australian skipper Ludde Ingvall has selected his crew to sail CQS in the Rolex Fastnet race, which starts from Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, on Sunday 6thAugust.

The team on CQS will be 22 strong, and deep in ocean racing experience and talent for the 650 nautical mile dash from Cowes, down the English Channel, around the Fastnet Rock off the south west of Ireland, and back to finish in Plymouth.

Leading the helming team will be New Zealand legend Chris Dickson, the winner of many world championships, and skipper of America’s Cup challenges and round the world races.

Alongside him is watch-leeder Rodney Keenan, who designed the rig and sails for the boat, and has extensive round the world sailing experience. Also very long on offshore experience is Sweden’s Ola Astradsson, who has sailed many thousands of miles with Ludde.

Half the multi national crew are New Zealanders, with British adding four more to the total. There are three Americans, including the only female, Genny Tulloch, two Australians a Swede and an Irishman.

For sponsor Sir Michael Hintze, CEO of CQS, this will be his first Rolex Fastnet race, though he has previously done the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race.

Weather forecast for the race would indicate that the fleet will have a hard slog to windward to get to the Fastnet Rock, but it could be a fast ride back to Plymouth.



Ludde Ingvall AUS

Sir Michael Hintze UK

Rodney Keenan NZL

Chris Dickson NZL

Tony Long NZL

Brian Clarke NZL/UK

Malcolm Paine NZL

Philip Maxwell NZL

James Gale NZL

Alan Turner NZL

David Wood NZL

Ant Crossan NZL

Michael Beasley NZL

Charlie Egerton-Warburton UK

Michael Rummel UK

James Oxenham UK

Dirk Kruger USA

Scott Stearns USA

Genevieve Tulloch USA

David Ward AUS

James Espey IRL

Ola Astradsson SWE

Recapping Day 2 of the Cowes Triple Crown Series 

Cowes, Isle of Wight, England: 2nd August 2017

Gust of 35 knots and big seas challenged Ludde Ingvall and his CQS crew in their race around the Isle of Wight today, as the opportunity to break the record for the course seemed so achievable, but then slipped from their grasp.

Under a steel grey sky, CQS blasted off from the Royal Yacht Squadron starting line at 09:45 this morning on an anti-clockwise circumnavigation of the island, a 50 nautical mile dash.

Taking slightly less than an hour to reach the famous landmark of the Needles at the western end of the island, a record time look eminently possible, with calculations predicting a time of up to 15 minutes less than the existing record of 3 hours, 20 minutes and 9 seconds.

Once around this jagged corner of the island conditions worsened considerably, “there was a lot more breeze than we had expected,” explained Ludde, “and we ended up in the Needles washing machine, where the tide meets big waves and it’s shallow, and it got incredibly bumpy for us.”

He believes that while in these tumultuous seas some damage occurred as soon after, one of their jibs started to unfurl, and flogged itself to shreds. The team then had to slow the boat while they retrieved the sail and the chances of a record blew away with the tattered sail.

They eventually finish the race 27 minutes outside the record, “but at least we got around, which is good, but the crew have a fair bit of work to fix things for the Rolex Fastnet race.”

Going on to talk about the Rolex Fastnet race, he said, “it looks a lot lighter now than we had been expecting, and if it’s light to start with we’ll be looking pretty good. Then if the wind builds we should be in a good position.”

Conditions for the final of the Triple Crown series tomorrow are looking even more extreme, with gusts of 40 knots expected.