Ludde Ingvall’s distinctive super maxi CQS has arrived in European waters for a summer tour of races in places as divergent as Finland and Malta. The 98 foot boat, with which Ludde contested last year’s Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race, will leave Gosport, England, in the next few days for a delivery trip to Helsinki.

While in the Finnish capital, where the skipper grew up, CQS will contest the Alandia Surrsaari Race, a 168 nautical mile dash around Surrsaari Island, starting 9th June, a race for which he hold the course record, and has presented the trophy for first monohull, in honour of his late father.

From there the boat will travel to Stockholm to take part in the Gotland Runt, a 350 nautical mile race around Gotland, one of the classics of the northern European summer, which starts 2nd July.

CQS will then return to England where she will again be based in Gosport, and will compete in three of England’s premier sailing events, the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Channel Race, Cowes Week, and the Rolex Fastnet Race.

The Channel Race, which starts 22nd July is a short, 160 nautical mile, sprint around the English Channel, starting from Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

During the world famous Cowes Week regatta, CQS will join other maxi yachts in a three race “Triple Crown” series of races around the Solent.

The final event in the English part of the European Tour will be the Rolex Fastnet Race, the 605 nautical mile classic race from Cowes around the Fastnet Rock off the south west coast of Ireland, and back to finish in Plymouth. This is a race he was won in the past.

Ludde and the CQS team will finish their European Tour in the Mediterranean, taking part in Trieste’s Barcolana Race, and Malta’s Middle Seas Race. The Barcolana is a 15 nautical mile dash around the Bay of Trieste, which is claimed to be the bigger sailing race in the world, with thousands of boats taking part.

The Middle Seas Race starts and finishes in Malta’s Valletta Harbour, and is another of the world’s 600 nautical mile classics, alongside the Fastnet, Newport to Bermuda and Sydney to Hobart races. It takes the fleet of boats north around Sicily, followed by a spectacular round of the volcano Stromboli, before turning south around more islands, and back to Valletta.


Hobart, Australia: 29th December 2016

Ludde Ingvall’s super maxi CQS will leave Hobart soon, and head back to New Zealand, where the programme of developing the DSS technology will continue, while Ingvall and his sponsor, Sir Michael Hintze discuss the ongoing event schedule.

Chris Skinner, the boat captain, said he expected there to be a good weather window for them to leave on Friday for the Tasman Crossing, which should take about five days.

Both ingvall and Sir Michael have said they are very pleased with the boat’s performance in the Rolex Sydney to Hobart, having shown some stunning bursts of speed before the DSS board broke.

Skinner, who will skipper the boat for the delivery trip back to New Zealand said, “there is a good weather pattern coming up on Friday, it should give us a downhill slide all the way. We will leave the broken DSS board in place for the crossing, because it takes about a day to remove it, and we want to get going.”

Other than the damage to the DSS board, the rest of the boat came through the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race unscathed, “the guys at Southern Ocean Marine have built a beautiful and strong boat,” commented Ingvall, “everything else on the boat has worked really well, I’m very happy with the hull and rig.”

When the decision has been made about the rest of the sailing programme, CQS will be shipped from New Zealand to the venture for the next event.



Hobart, Australia: 28th December 2016.

“It was tough, the Hobart race is always tough, but by Hobart standards it was an easy Hobart,” was Chris Dickson’s summary of the 2 days and 3 hours it had taken CQS to complete the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race.

Ludde Ingvall’s super maxi crossed the finishing line of the race at 16:13:12 on Wednesday in seventh place, after spending the previous 12 hours creeping painfully slowly towards Battery Point in Hobart, the traditional finish in the Derwent river.

Despite the slow finish, sponsor and crew member Sir Michael Hintze was grinning from ear to ear when the boat finally docked, saying he was ready for the next race.

“It was great,” he told the waiting crowd, “the fulfilment of a childhood dream. The technology and engineering in the boat is fascinating, and we’re still learning about it.”

Ludde Ingvall the skipper, and cousin of Sir Michael, talked about the damage to their DSS (Dynamic Stability System) board, which broke early in the race. “First the tips, like on an airplane wing, broke off, which caused the flaps to tear off as well.

“That slowed us up a lot, but before they broke we could really feel the boat lift up and take off, it’s a very exciting development, and we are already talking to the designers and engineers about how to improve it.”

The first twenty four hours of the race had been fast with good east to north easterly winds, and only a brief period of light winds on the first night. It was in the early hours of Wednesday morning the wind just shut off and CQS along with several other boats had a very slow and frustrating sail across Storm Bay and up the Derwent River.


JUST OUTSIDE OF HOBART: 28th December 2016


At 07:30 this morning CQS was virtually becalmed in Storm Bay, only a few miles from the entrance to Hobart’s Derwent River. “Storm Bay is not living up to its name,” commented Michael Rummel from the boat, “we are doing 1 knot at the moment.”


He said that they had maintained good speed all night, with a decent breeze, but the wind shut off at around 06:00, and their progress slowed to a crawl.


Family and friends waiting on Constitution Dock in Hobart have seen the ETA pushed back and back. Late last night CQS was expected to finish at about 05:00, but as the sky started to lighten before dawn this was pushed back to 07:00. Now it seems that a 09:00 finish is optimistic.


After yesterday’s beautiful sunny weather, Hobart is now a cloudy, soggy, dripping mess, and the crew of CQS, instead of being covered in salt spray, have rain water running off the sails.




Not far from Hobart, Tasmania: 27th December 2016

CQS reports this afternoon that they are on a fast reach towards the entrance to Hobart’s Derwent River, the team have crossed Bass Straight, and have had a relatively uneventful day.

“Nothing much has changed since this morning,” they said. “We’ve got 20 to 25 knots of mostly easterly breeze, and a 1 to 2 metre swell.” With the wind angle they have, CQS is able to point her bow straight towards the next turning point.

“We’ve averaged around 18 knots since this morning, and have cleared Bass Straight without any dramas,” they concluded.

The race tracker currently shows them 63 nautical miles east of Flinders Island, with an ETA in Hobart of 04:44am tomorrow morning.


27th December 2016: 7.30am update

The CQS team have described it as “a challenging night,” via sat phone this morning, adding that they had done quite a few sail changes.


Talking about their progress south, he said that CQS had been achieving good speeds yesterday afternoon and evening, but then the wind dropped during the night.


Skipper, Ludde Ingvall told us this morning that the breeze was building again, and they now had 13 to 14 knots of wind from the east, and the were sailing at 16 to 17 knots. He said, “the wind direction allows us to point right at the mark, so we are going in a straight line.


He explained that they were getting a lot of vibration from the DSS board since various bits had broken off, and they were trying to adjust its position to minimize the effect of the turbulence this vibration caused. Ludde reckoned that they were 10% to 15% below they potential because of this.


At the time of contacting them, CQS was 59 nautical miles south east of Gabo Island.



Michael Rummel reports from CQS that there has been further deterioration in the state of the DSS board. Calling by sat phone from the boat off the south coast of New South Wales, he said that the wing tips have come off on both sides of the boat, and the flaps on the trailing edge have also broken off.

Commenting on the situation he said that the boat speed had already slowed following the initial deterioration and that the present foil state will have very little effect on the speed of the boat, “this is what happens when you innovate”, he commented. 



SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: 26th December 2016

There is no other feeling in the world quite like the buzz around the foreshore of Sydney Harbour on Boxing day. The excitement, the anticipation, the nerves, they are all in abundant supply.

Those who are doing their first Rolex Sydney to Hobart race are consumed by conflicting emotions, the nerves of going into the unknown mixed in with the excitement of being part of a unique Aussie event.

Then there are those showing a cool exterior, they’ve done the Hobart a few times before, but be sure, no matter how smooth they appear on the surface, underneath the nerves are still there.

CQS has a good mix of rookies and old timers. Sir Michael Hintze is not only new to the race, he’s new to sailing, "I'm not nervous, there is trepidation sure but I the crew Ludde has put together are amazing and I am looking forward to sharing the experience with them".

Ludde, Chris Dickson, Rodney Keenan and others have plenty of Hobarts under their belt, but this boat is a whole new ball game, so there are nerves hidden by the confident strides down the dock.

There are even nerves amongst the guests having breakfast on the dockside at Birkenhead Point Marina, all curious about the unique yacht they have come to bid farewell. There is no doubt CQS will be the most talked about boat on the starting line today. 


Sydney, Australia: 22nd December 2017

Veteran Swedish sailor Ola Astradsson has joined the crew of CQS for the Rolex Sydney to Hobart race, replacing Kiwi Jude Burrell, who has unfortunately been taken ill.

Ludde Ingvall welcomed his long standing friend Ola to the team after it became obvious that Jude Burrell would not be well enough in time for the Boxing Day start.

“We are sorry that Jude can’t sail with us,” Ludde said today, “we have waited to find a replacement for as long as we can, but it became obvious that she would not be fit in time, so I am very grateful that Ola was able to stand in such short notice.”

Ola’s association with Ludde and his sailing goes back to 1991, when they sailed together on UBF in England’s Fastnet Race. The list of races they have done together since then is extensive, and the successes are enviable.

Amongst the more outstanding achievements they have chalked up together are, winning in the ’95 Fastnet Race, a Trans-Atlantic record in ’96, winners of the Maxi One Design World Championhips in ’97, and winning the Rolex Sydney Hobart race in 2000.

Talking about joining the crew Ola said, “Chris Dickson was a boyhood hero for me, I have raced against him several times, so it’s a real privilege to sail with him on this Hobart. This is my first race since I retired 13 years ago, so it’s extra special for me.”

Today the team continued their training and tuning programme on Sydney Harbour, with watch leaders Chris Dickson, Rodney Keenan and Chris Main having flown into town from New Zealand yesterday.


Sydney, Australia: 19th December 2016.

The CQS Racing team are making steady progress in their preparations for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, implementing improvements as a result of their training and tuning sessions last week.

On Monday they changed from a traditional forestay and headsail to a furling headsail.

“We learnt so much during our days of training last week,” said Ludde, “and with input from the whole team, but particularly Chris Dickson, Rodney Keenan and Chris Main, we decided to change from a hanked on headsail to a furling headsail.”

Ludde says they have been able to stick to a well organised schedule of training followed by maintenance in their preparations for the race, “this is the way we run our programmes, alternating training and tuning with maintenance and improvements”.

Some of the race crew have gone home to New Zealand during the maintenance period, and will fly back to Sydney for further training on Wednesday.